SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

5: Abraham Avinu

Composed by: Gillian Carcas (2004)

Pipa, ney and darabukka

The composer of 'Abraham Avinu', Gillian Carcas, comments:

When I was approached to compose this piece, I was in the midst of a personal journey of exploration to understand something of the ancient roots of my Sephardic family name. As my source material, I use Sephardic melodies. One is a song of longing to be in Jerusalem, to be able to worship at the Western Wall, part of the foundation of the second Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans. The second, 'Avraham Avinu', Hebrew for 'Our Father Abraham', tells about the birth of the founder of monotheism. Combining old and new is very much part of this project. the ancient pipa originated in the Middle East, and I have included two other Middle Eastern instruments with ancient pedigrees, the ney flute, and darabukka drum.

I began composing the piece in Jerusalem, and it has developed over time to allow room for improvisation by the instrumentalists, who draw on their respective musical traditions and enrich each other's musical understanding, combining ancient and modern to create a fresh and cohesive whole."