Remembrance, Journey and Dance was written in 2016, inspired by the Syrian Refugee crisis. I used Syrian rhythmic and melodic modes as material. The first section uses three melodic modes, the Ajam Ajina, the Kurd Ajina, and the Hijaz Ajina, in creating a mood of reflection and remembrance, with the cello answering the call of the clarinet.
The middle section, Journey, is in 5/4 and uses two Syrian rhythmic modes, the Thurayya and the Samai Thaqil, to convey movement. This juxtaposition of Syrian compositional elements within a western classical music framework conveys the similar dichotomy of Syrian refugees moving through Western countries and culture.
Dance, the final section, is a complex fusion of Syrian rhythmic modes from Damascus and Aleppo. Combined with the Nawa Athar melodic mode, a sense of bittersweet joy is brought to the refugees’ journey.
The original version of the piece was for clarinet, bassoon and piano. Since then, other versions have been made for various instrumentation.