Ecstasies

Ecstasies represents my most ambitious attempt to synthesize the Dionysian soundscapes of electronic dance music with the technical innovations of contemporary Western art music and the distinctive expressive qualities of Iranian classical music. The meaning of the title is threefold: the feeling of ecstasy evoked by EDM, the transcendent and ecstatic character of Dastgah Nava (the mode of Iranian classical music used throughout the piece), and the rave drug Ecstasy.

The structure is a microcosm of a DJ set at a rave: a series of buildups and climaxes, exploring various grooves and genres while continuously growing in intensity. The flutist has the Herculean task of matching the dynamism of the electronics while shapeshifting between vastly different manners of playing.

To realize this piece, I needed to fully awaken my knowledge of EDM production, which had lain dormant for nearly ten years. I did it gladly at the behest of flutist Ben Smolen, whose dazzling musicianship and adventurous spirit made this work possible.

Details

  • For flute & electronics
  • Category: Solo
  • Year Composed: 2022
  • Duration: 10'
  • Commissioner: Ben Smolen