Dances of the Diaspora

Several expat composers residing in the United States will be commissioned to compose a piece of music for solo classical guitar. Each composition will be in a dance rhythm or style that reflects a dance from the respective composer’s national, cultural, or ethnic origin. The compositions are each to be approximately five minutes long. The group of composers include a several women and some emerging composers.

The countries of origin of this diverse group include Israel, Palestine, Belarus, Argentina, Turkey and India. The response that I’ve gotten from each of these composers has been enthusiastic, and they are all excited about contributing something to this project. In addition, I am composing a short prelude to this unique “dance suite” that will have elements that reflect my own mother’s Puerto Rica origin.

One of the other parameters that were set up for the commissioning project was that there would be some composers who were themselves guitarists and would therefore be expected to write idiomatically for the instrument, but others would not be guitarists. It would be expected that the non-guitarists might stretch beyond the usual limitations of guitar technique and might come up with elements that would surprise, elements that one could not have expected to encounter on the guitar. These same parameters had been used in a previous project (The Orange Blossom Dances) resulting in a set of dances that were varied and compelling both to the player and the listener.