Daniel Sabzghabaei (b. 1992) is an internationally performed and award-winning composer whose works have been presented by professional and amateur ensembles alike, including: Dallas’ premier new music ensemble Voices of Change, Ukraine’s Kharkov Academic Youth Orchestra, Korea’s Ansan City Choir, Minneapolis’ Magpies & Ravens, and Pittsburgh-based OvreArts to name a few. Daniel’s work aims to emphasize the malleability of time and how we experience it, not just in the concert hall but in everyday life as well. As of late, he has been increasingly interested in his Persian heritage, seriously studying and taking inspiration from Persian melodic and rhythmic systems, Persian folk music, and Persian art and poetry. Upcoming engagements include: a fellowship as a composer and vocalist at the Oregon Bach Festival’s Composers Symposium, and a Composer-in-Residence position at the ICon Arts Academy in Sibiu, Romania.
LISTEN: Upon Viewing a Family in Mourning (2013) for Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon
This work takes it inspiration from a series of conversations I had with the family of a friend of mine who passed away in a tragic car accident in the summer of 2013. I was able to observe the mourning process for these two people, and it left a profound effect on me. In the first movement, “The Mother,” there is a sense of quiet introspection coupled with intense outpourings of emotion and confusion. The textures are relatively simple throughout, ranging from elegiac solos, to homophonic reflections full of bittersweet harmonies, until measure 41, when the ensemble gives one final, muddled shout, before ending in somber contemplation, the clarinet echoing the weeping diad from the opening. The second movement, “The Brother,” takes these somber moments and makes them short bursts of reflection, surrounded by sections of dense counterpoint and virtuosic moments for all three members of the ensemble. The brother has little time to mourn; he must handle all the business of death. The pain is still there, but it is masked for the sake of the mother. The work comes to an end with a soaring clarinet line, barely audible, and a fade to niente.