The word arabesque refers to several genres or elements of art from different cultures. Islamic art, European art, ballet positioning, Turkish music, and Western Classical music are all forms of creativity that have appropriated this term. Typically in Islamic and European art the arabesque is an ornate decorative surface using rhythmic patterns, linear designs, interlocking foliage, uncrossing curls, or any variation thereof. The Arabesques composed by Debussy and Sibelius are very embellished forms of Western Classical music. Arabesque and maneuver connect directly to dance concepts, which in general is subconsciously embedded in my music.
Pentagonal Arabesque is an expansion of the fugue that emerges in my percussion duo Maneuveresque, and which no longer remains in the final version of the duo. Much of this duo is a constantly revolving cycle of quintuplets, and that seeps into the fugue section. The solo fugue uses the theme and expands on the ideas from the fugue in the duo, but there is a new development section in 20/16 time added, as if to make sure the character of 5 was permanently cemented in the brain. Much like the fugue subject, the harmony moves through a cycle that feels as if we will never arrive back at the homebase of ‘A’.
Pentagonal Arabesque is dedicated to Hungarian marimba soloist Gábor Palotás, and was premiered by Gábor in Debrecen, Hungary in 2014. ~M.C.
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