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 commissioned by Belarusian guitarist Igor Dedusenko for his project Searching for Truth. The project is a thought-provoking exploration of our human relationship with faith and the idea of the divine, whether in the form of a Creator, Supreme Being, the Earth Mother, or 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 centuries-old and continual conflict between these faiths that profess to worship the same God. The intersections of these religions have contributed to a couple of my compositions.
For my contribution to the Searching for Truth project, I was inspired by salat, the daily prayer ritual required of Muslims. 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 a westernized, equally-tempered form. 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 recitation or symbolize the routines of mundane or hectic daily life that is interrupted by prayerful rededication to Allah.