violin (using scordatura - the E string is tuned to D), marimba, vibraphone, tamburello, darabuka, rattles, casaba, saw, crotales, bows
commissioned by Fiddlesticks (Madeleine Mitchell and Ensemble Bash)

Gharnati takes as its inspiration and starting point the music of the Moorish Civilisation that flourished in Andalucia (Al-Andaluz) up to the late 15th century. This culture was at the time the most sophisticated in Europe, and its music had a profound influence on the music of the troubadours and the European Courts of the time, and hence on the development of Western art music. It survives to this day in the Andalusian Music of the Maghreb. The piece is developed as a set of variations which create a suite of dances, somewhat in the Western tradition, but adheres strictly to the unstable Andalusian mode Zaydan, which is based on D with a ‘tonic’ of G, and which has alternating forms with major or minor third and sixth, and flattened or sharpened seventh. Its rhythmic schema is derived from that of the Tarab Gharnati (Granada), one of the great surviving compositions of the Andalusian culture.
It may help to remind us of the huge debt we owe to Islamic civilisation.

A version for unaccompanied violin was premiered by Madeleine Mitchell in November 2006 at the Palais des Congrès, Marrakesh as part of the conference and exhibition “Morocco in Western Art". The full version was premiered in Cardiff on October 2nd 2007, as part of the Red Violin Festival.

Madeleine and her daughter Zerlina

Gharnati is released by Signum Classics on the CD 'Fiddlestick' catalogue/sigcd111/index.htm
You'll have to buy the CD to hear the whole piece, but here's a snippet: