Total duration so far: 20'
Date: 2018-2019Location: New York, New York, USA
The Gāthās for Piano is an ongoing series of compositions of which the rhythmic and metric structure is derived and developed from the language of Zarathustra's homonymous book of poems, Gāthic or Old Avestan which belongs to the ancient Persian language group that is a sub-group of Eastern families of the Indo-European languages. I have so far composed three pieces based on three stanzas. Zarathustra composed 17 poems, consisting of 238 stanzas, containing his teachings and expounding on the elements of truth (aša), the good mind (vohu manah), and the spirit of righteousness. The poems' meters are historically associated with the Vedic tristubh-jagati family of meters.
Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanza III was dedicated to virtuoso pianist Dr Jonathan Powell, in honour of his 50th birthday, by whom it was premiered at NeoArte Festival, Gdansk, Poland, on 26 October 2019. He performed this composition also at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague's Music Faculty (HAMU), Czech Republic, on 15 November 2019, at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, on 5 March 2020, and again in the Czech Republic, in Setkávání Nové Hudby Plus (New Music Encounters Plus), at Janáček Academy (JAMU) of Brno, on 8 December 2020 (second video below). Powell will perform this piece at St Hilda's College, University of Oxford, on 13 January, and at the Royal Academy of Music, London, on 19 January, 2024.
Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanzas I & II Ahunavaiti Gāthā no.1, stanzas I & II were dedicated to Dr Jared Redmond, by whom they were premiered at the San Francisco Center for New Music, in California, on 15 February 2019, and at Hanyang University, in Seoul, South Korea, on 3 June 2019.