Monotonous Monotone by Hamza El Din
"The monochord is a single stringed musical instrument that can be used to calculate the intervals between the notes of a musical scale. When one plucks the string in an even beat each note produces waves of sound, much as pebbles thrown into a pond create waves that follow each other to the shore. As the waves rebound off the shore, they at times reinforce each other and the water shimmers with heightened energy, while at other moments the waves act to cancel each other and produce a calm surface where the only movement is the splash of water where a pebble falls. On the monochord you can hear either energetic waves of sound or just the monotonous sound of the plucking of the string.
While working on this composition, the story of the abduction of Daniel Pearl by extremists in Pakistan was in the news. It was not an easy thing to hear such news, especially since Daniel was a personal friend. I had met Danny several years prior to the incident, and through his love of music and his charming personality our friendship started. My mind was filled with thoughts of him, even imagining the terror of his situation in the dark room where he might have been kept. I imagined his isolation, and the sadness and anger he must have felt as well as the moments of calm that must have been his refuge and strength, the serene center that is the seat of faith.
This piece was composed in a D scale, with D, E, F, and G forming a tetrachord that transitions into either lower or higher adjacent tetrachords, reflecting the changing emotions that were his lot during those difficult days. It is my prayer that peace is his portion now in a better world."