ETHNOMINIMAL : is a piece that can be considered as a bridge between western art music and eastern ethnic music. It explores the use of two Middle Eastern modes: the Hicazkâr (a major scale with a flattened 2nd and a flattened 6th) and the Hicaz (a harmonic minor scale starting on the 5th degree), as well as a Greek traditional dance 7/8 rhythm, all treated using some processes of minimalism.
The piece is divided into three distinct sections. The opening section introduces a 5-note motif note by note. It is heard firstly in the woodwind, then the brass and finally throughout the whole orchestra.
After a full 4-bar melody from this motif is clearly established, the middle section takes this melody, harmonises it and develops it further, mainly using a phase shifting process. Instruments are gradually introduced with different textures, until the whole orchestra joins in and any sense of rhythm is completely lost.
At the moment where everything falls back into place, we find ourselves in the final section. Here, both the initial motif and full harmonies support dance-like melodies in these Middle Eastern modes, which mainly occur in the brass. This section features a culmination of all the musical material previously introduced and developed, and after a couple of quiet moments, the triumphant theme along with the initial motif and its harmonies reach a climax at the end of the piece.
Marios STYLIANOU has won the Second Prize of the 5th International Composition Competition "Coups de Vents" with ETHNOMINIMAL
for Symphonic Wind Orchestra
Grade : 4
Duration : 7:30