NASH ASWADA (2011)
Nash Aswada (2011) is a phrase that first appeared in Iraq following the beginning of the United States occupation. The simplest translation of this phrase is “black coffin,” which was what one particular form of US military interrogation became known as. This method involved placing prisoners in covered boxes and keeping them awake for days. I used Indian harmonies and raga rhythms and the common drone to try to evoke this feeling of darkness and despair. The raga used in this piece is the Marwa rag, a common night rag that evokes feelings of discomfort and unease. In India, performing this raga during the day was said to bring bad luck. This work was premiered by the Colorado State University Freshman Percussion Ensemble in the Spring 2012 at the annual World Music Concert.