Duration: 14 min.
1. Salat Al-Fajr • Dawn Prayer
2. Salat Az-Zuhr • Noon Prayer
3. Salat Al-Asr • Afternoon Prayer
4. Salat Al-Maghrib • Evening Prayer
5. Salat Al-Isha • Night Prayer
Salat: Five Meditations was written for a concert project that sadly never came to fruition. It was to be a thought-provoking exploration of the human relationship with faith and the idea of the divine, in the form Creator, Supreme Being, Earth Mother, or maybe even the non-existence of all that. I have always been fascinated with the Abrahamic religions Judaism, Islam, and Christianity: their shared concepts, the histories of their inception, the continued, centuries-old conflict between these faiths that profess to worship the same God.
For this work, I was inspired by salat, the daily prayer ritual of Islam. Salat includes ritual cleansing, the intoning of sacred texts, and a precise set of movements and gestures. All of this represents a Muslim’s complete submission to Allah, physically, mentally, and spiritually. These prayers occur five times throughout the day. The day starts and ends with prayer and at three other times of the day, a Muslim is to stop what they are doing and pray, thanking Allah for his guidance and continued blessing. The music of Salat: Five Meditations makes use of the Arabic system of modes, the Maqamat, though in an equally-tempered version. Each of the five daily prayers has inspired me to create my own responses. Individual moments act as a call to prayer or song-like meditation, others are a sort of scriptural-musical recitation or symbolize the routines of hectic or mundane daily life that is consciously interrupted by the faithful’s dedication to Allah.