Waslah for string quartet – ca. 16′
“Arabic Heterophony” is a three movements piece inspired by classical Arabic ensemble music Takht (تخت) and their interpretation techniques, as any instrument (usually no more than four instruments), plays the melody with its appropriate articulations, flourishes, beautifies and more techniques that reflect each player’s background that can sometimes result in a big change in the main melody which will be almost unrecognizable but listening to all these performances simultaneously will make it stand out as our human ‘ s ear can identify the melodic line around which the performers are playing.
In this quartet in three movements, the instruments are used as traditional Arabic instruments by trying to resemble their sound, characters, and techniques, based on the Arab maqam world and traditional Arabic rhythms, with contemporary language through developments and modulations between these maqams and rhythms.
The quartet will follow the traditional form of “Waslah”, which is a suite of three main parts: the first is a fully composed melody, the second is completely improvised (Taqassim), and the third and final part will be a mix between composed and improvised melodies.

This piece was a project that I developed and workshopped with Austrasia Quartet during my composer residency in Metz – France (March – April 2022), hosted by La Cite Musicale de Metz.

Wajdi Abou Diab | Composer in residence | Cite Musicale de Metz