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|Composer||Bitensky, Laurence Scott|
|Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp.||2004|
|First Performance.||2005-04-27 – Murray State University Wind Ensemble, Dennis Johnson (conductor)|
|First Publication.||2004 – Silly Black Dog Music|
|Average DurationAvg. Duration||20 minutes|
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period||Modern|
|Instrumentation||Orchestra: piccolo, 2 flutes/alto flute, 2 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet/clarinet E♭, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophone/soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone + 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba + 6 percussion + electric bass guitar + celesta|
Commissioned by Dennis Johnson and Tim Reynish, Past Presidents of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE)
Hadra is inspired by my 2004 stay in Fez, Morocco where I had the privilege of participating in several trance-dancing rituals unique to Sufi brotherhoods in Morocco. These rituals, which extend to the early hours of the morning, involve chanting, dancing, and highly percussive instrumental performances. Each session usually involves a slowly increasing tempo leading to an enormous climax of dense percussion and repeated syllables. The goal is to reach to an ecstatic state in which the individual members of the group are subsumed into the collective energy known as hadra or “presence.” My wind ensemble piece is in one sense part of a tradition of musical travelogues (Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky, Ellington, etc.) in which a composer paints a musical portrait of foreign culture by lovingly and respectfully appropriating musical elements from that culture and blending it into his or her own style in a unique way. In another and perhaps deeper sense, my piece is an attempt to capture and in some ways reenact the ritual power of this transforming ceremony.