I finished the first draft of the final movement to my orchestral work, Hindu Kush, this evening. This is a good thing, as we begin rehearsing the work Tuesday evening.
Peace Song takes its melody from a Kashmiri folk song as collected in the 1950s by a French ethnomusicologist. I used the original melody, by solo male tenor, accompanied by tabla, as the opening theme to many of my ethnic music programs on Seattle's KRAB radio, in the early 1970s. At that time, I also used the melody in my electroacoustic radio work, Between the Lines. In 2001, I used this melody as the final movement of my Tuba Sonata.
The melody sounds almost like a cross between the Shaker hymn, Tis a Gift to be Simple, and Beethoven's Ode to Joy. The contrasts between the moods I'm portraying it in this setting, to the War Dirge that preceded it in Hindu Kush, are both stark, and - I hope - uplifting.
Here's a link to the MIDI version of Peace Song.
And here's as link to the other three movements, Bamyan Voids, Women's Ghazal and War Dirge.
image - Kashmiri musicians celebrating at a winter festival.