Vāyuvēra

for piano trio

Artwork: Caravaggio (1601); Cupid as Victor (detail).
Instrumentation: violin, cello, piano
Duration: c. 18'Date: 2020 - April 2021Location: Cambridge, UK
‘Come to the edge,’ he said.‘We can't, we're afraid!’ they responded.‘Come to the edge,’ he said. ‘We can't, we will fall!’ they responded. ‘Come to the edge,’ he said. And so they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. (Guillaume Apollinaire)
The duality of finite space and time was evolved, to form the cosmos, from Vāyu (the infinite Space) and Zurvan (infinite Time), ancient Persians believed. The benevolent alliance of Space-Time was established in the Zoroastrian Avesta. Vāyu, a multifaceted Iranian deity of wind and space, was primordially there to shield the creation of Spənta Mainyu. Vayū is superior to both Spənta Mainyu, the Beneficent Spirit, and Aŋra Mainyu, the Evil Spirit. Ahura Mazdā, the creator of the two Spirits, ought to entreat Vayū for help. Vāyu could appear as a Good Wāy (Wāy ī weh) and the Bad Wāy (Wāy ī wattar); either a yazata (spirit worthy of worship) or daeva (evil spirit), depending upon the course along which the wind blew. In Zurvanism, Vāyu-Vātu represented one facet of the quaternary divinity Zurvan: the vastness of Infinite Space.
The practicable co-existence of the notions of Dastgah in Persian music and the twelve-tone equal temperament of Western music may, through a conventional worldview, be considered as a mode of Leibniz's incompossibility — reciprocally antithetical, and unattainable within a sole sphere; however, inclined by Gilles Deleuze’s philosophical concept of the Rhizome and Pierre Boulez’s concept of the Diagonal, artistic divergences and incompossibilities of such, may coexist and synchronise in the same world.
Vāyu is one etymon I have used to form the word Vāyuvēra to title this composition; and, vēra is derived from the Sanskrit morpheme ver, meaning “root” or “rhizome”. As the ruptured rhizome is competent to recommence new or adventitious roots integrating to create a new embodiment, Vāyuvēra is an endeavour operating an alternative way of striating pitch space drawing from the constitutions of both Western and Persian musical traditions in a quest for a smooth rhizomatic musical space-continuum.
(Encyclopedia Iranica; Encyclopedia Britannica; Deleuze and Guattari, 1988; Campbell, 2013)
Saman Samadi - Vāyuvēra.pdf
The audio excerpt is recorded by the Amatis Trio at the 2021 British Forum for Ethnomusicology and Royal Musical Association Research Conference, at the University of Cambridge, on January 14, 2021.