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Two New Versions of Kamran Ince’s Domes

Oct. 01, 2019

Two New Versions of Kamran Ince’s <em>Domes</em>

The first version of Kamran Ince’s Domes was written for full orchestra in 1993, when Ince was the Young American Composer-in-Residence of California Symphony Orchestra. It was commissioned and premiered by the orchestra under the direction of Barry Jakowsky during that same year. The version of Domes for nineteen strings (string orchestra) was created in August of 2019. It will be premiered by the MIAM String Orchestra in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 15 at the Mustafa Kemal Hall, under the direction of the composer. Additionally, Ince created a version of Domes for nineteen woodwinds (woodwind orchestra), on a commission from the Bloomsbury Group of London, UK, who will premiere the work at Victoria Park in London on November 23. The composer notes:

“Each version of Domes is fundamentally the same. However, they are written natively for the different instrumentations. It is like the same role being played by different actors. Prior to 1993, the initial gut feelings that led to the creation of Domes and other related works started to evolve after spending much time on the rooftops in Rome, where I lived for a year, and looking at the numerous domes that were around."

Thoughts of Istanbul, Turkey, accompanied this, where the composer grew up in the shadows of the magnificent views of the domes there. Of course, these domes in Rome and Istanbul are part of the churches and mosques that are probably the greatest creations of the Christian and Muslim worlds. What was interesting, though, was that Ince was not hearing church bells or sermons in association with these domes--he was hearing a peculiar, peaceful silence. Domes comes out of this peculiar silence. The feelings are religious in an abstract way, very spiritual and mysterious. At times while writing Domes, the composer felt as if a hand was helping him from above. He also felt that he had to be in a certain type of mood for it. If he was not, he did not write. There were frequent breaks, waiting for this mood to return. An organically interrelated nocturne of dipping suspension-bridge design, the mood throughout is of spiritual obsessiveness, ever-descending lines searching for something, trying to feel what they are searching for, to seek out what they are feeling, rather like the whirling Sufi dervishes.”

Listen to Kamran Ince’s Concerto for Orchestra, Turkish Instruments, and Voices (2002, rev. 2009):

(Concerto for Orchestra, Turkish Instruments, and Voices/Kamran Ince/Bilkent Symphony Orchestra & Youth Chorus/Kamran Ince, conductor/Kemenche: Neva Ozgen, Ney: Celaettin Bicer/Zurnas: Ali Bektas & Cevdet Akeniz)

For more information on Kamran Ince, visit:

Kamran Ince
Domes (2019)
for nineteen strings (string orchestra)

Domes (2019)
for 19 woodwinds (woodwind orchestra)