...and Disbelieverscello (2008)
The title ...and Disbelievers is a reference to one of the Cantigas de Santa Maria, a series of poems praising the Virgin Mary written by Alfonso X El Sabio (the Learned) in 13th century Al-Andalus. Cantiga number 181, which I had particularly in mind as I wrote this piece, tells of the Virgin Mary aiding those who "most love Her, although they may be of another faith and disbelievers." In recognition of the vibrant artistic and cultural cross pollination of that particular time and place in history I have drawn on musical elements from the both Hispano-Arabic tradition and that of the Catholic church of that period. Specifically the piece begins highlighting the Arabic element, with an episode based on a pseudo maqam (Arabic mode) that builds into an ecstatic frenzy. Following that is a contrasting brief polyphonic statement, first in the upper register then again in slightly altered form in the lower, before the piece fades into silence.