The inspiration for my piece “Mizmor Shir” came from two different though complementary sources: First of all from the sound of my beloved first granddaughter name- Shir which means a song in Hebrew. The second source of inspiration comes from the holy book of Psalms, as many chapters of this book start with this expression –Mizmor Shir which literally means a Hymn song. In many of these chapters the harp is mentioned as one of the main instruments taking place in the performances of these ceremonial songs so I felt only natural to call my harp solo piece Mizmor Shir.
The main rhythmic pattern of the piece comes from the way one expresses the name of the piece in Hebrew, and the character of the piece is basically lyrical and singing like even though there are some active and virtuoso sections too.
comissioned by the Musica Nova Consort.
I have chosen this combination of instruments which produces a very specific sound in which the flute is quite conspicuous. My compositional point of departure was the sonority of the ensemble and therefore I have tried to use instruments of different families which permit a variety of sound production; wind, string, plucked instrument and tuned percussion instruments of wood and metal.
There is only one movement and the work is interally divided into two sections which differ from one another but are connected through common thematic material. The material was drawn from the name Rami which by association reminds one of the notes RE and MI (D and E). Both notes run throughout the composition in various ways. The other materials are taken from the scales typical of my chosen instruments, in particular from the pentatonic scale of the marimba and the natural diatonic scale of the harp.
The character is strongly influenced by the impression of a colourful kleidoscope, whose images change fast. It finds expression in the first section in fast changing materials which are almost never repeated, but are placed side by side. Fast motoric parts alternate in the piece with lyrical expressive passages. In the second section the colouring and kleidoscopic character stem from a different treatment – from the harmonic, rhythmic and orchestral aspect – of a melodic idea which repeats itself time and again as if in a persistent ritual.