Please listen to my music! You can find here audio-video recordings of my own compositions, as well as some explanations to each piece presented.
- Muzica Arhaica (Archaic Music) is dedicated to the Archaeus Ensemble of modern music, and written at the request of the late composer Liviu Danceanu. The music is created using traditional elements of Romanian and Balinese music, especially regarding the modes used but also the specific sounds of some traditional instruments such as the bamboo flute “suling” of the Gamelan Gambuh from Bali, and the Romanian “caval” flute. The piece was performed by the Archaeus Ensemble at the George Enescu concert hall of the National University of Music in Bucharest, Romania.
- GameFonie – for 13 percussion players. Performed by the Game Percussion Ensemble of the UNMB, in February 2017. Besides the modern percussion techniques and music composition style, the piece also uses gamelan instrumental traditional techniques, characteristic gamelan compositional style as well as original gamelan instruments – drums, gongs, cymbals (ceng-ceng), bamboo flutes (suling) that are part of Balinese and Javanese gamelan ensembles. The piece incorporates also a Balinese gamelan musical theme coming from the village of Buahan, Payangan regency, adapted here to fit the western instruments (marimba, vibraphone, glockenspiel and xylophone).
- An Object at Rest – music for the animation with the same name, by Seth Boyden. Performed by the Tonhalle Orchestra, under Frank Strobel‘s baton, at Tonhalle – Zurich, on the 23rd of September 2016. This piece won the Special Mention of the Jury for its originality and boldness. You can read more about it here.
- Game Laser Jaya – for 4 percussionists and 2 cellos. Performed at the University of Music in Bucharest by the Game Percussion Ensemble and Duo Cello Jaya during the Meridian International Festival in November 2015.
- 320 Black Cats – Suite no. II – for orchestra. Performed by the Romanian National Radio Orchestra conducted by Horia Andreescu at the Concert Hall “Mihail Jora” of the Romanian National Broadcasting Company in 2009.
This is a suite extracted from the music of the 320 Black Cats, a police mystery-comic ballet in 2 acts.
The ballet was created based on the police novel with the same name by the well known Romanian writer Rodica Ojog Brasoveanu. The story of this novel is quite simple but the way that the events take place is very complex. It’s all about a full size gold statue of Virgin Mary that some thieves want to steal.
In the center of the story is Melania Lupu, (a character from many of Rodica Ojog Brasoveanu’s novels), an old lady which against all odds is quite sophisticated and intelligent, able to give on numerous occasions tips to the police that don’t succeed in solving different crimes. As usual, she sticks her nose in dangerous business. Let’s not forget the tomcat Mirciulica, Melania’s pet, the black cat which has a crucial role in finding the golden statue.
The thieves are 3 Romanians and their British boss, the one who actually finds out that the statue is to be found in Romania and initiates it’s search, the final purpose being to take it out of the country. Of course, the Romanian police is on their tail, being as well very familiar with Melania.
This is the main story of this comical police novel. Based on this I created the music of a ballet (that was not staged yet), which represents my diploma work for the graduation of my Master Degree in “Style and Language in Music Composition” (2009).
The suite is made of 3 pieces. The first one, The Madonna’s Mystery has a meditative character, slow and mysterious. Here, the storyline is in the moment in which the British thief doesn’t know exactly where the statue is located and he’s searching for clues and how to solve this enigma.
The second part, The Idyll, presents the strange mini-love story, or better said – fling – of the British thief for Melania, which doesn’t feel the same about him. The music in this part is picturing their “love story”, but with sudden short interventions which represent Melania’s real feelings and her way to treat the Englishman.
The last part, In action, is the end of the Suite but also of the Ballet “320 Black Cats”. Here, all the elements of the novel combine, which one can see also in the music. It is a fast piece, very dynamic, which finishes in full force, with the entire orchestra in forte. This final part represents the victory of the Romanian police and the failure of the thieves to take the statue out of Romania.
This is, in short, the story of the Suite no. II from 320 Black Cats Ballet.
I hope you like it!
- Meditation – for Fujara and Balinese Gamelan. Performed by the Gamelan Group of the Indonesian Embassy in the Slovak Republic in 2012. Martin Putis plays the Fujara. Recorded in 2012
This is a piece that I conceived with the help of the Fujara player (Martin Putis), in Bratislava – Slovakia, where we also performed the piece several times. Here the gamelan players don’t use their instruments in the usual fashion (with mallets) because the sound would be too rough, and we were searching for a softer sound that combines well with the beautiful Fujara. This is why all the Xylophone-like instruments are using bows which are coming from violins, violas, cellos and double basses. The result is a soft music, full of overtones, calm and relaxing, as opposed to the usual sound of the Balinese Gamelan.
- A lover’s promise for piano, trumpet and strings quintet – London Schubert Players – recorded in 2010 in London.
The piece is based on a true story of two lovers – therefore the title of the piece – “A lover’s promise” – and the construction of the music.
This is the story: „There were two lovers – one boy and one girl – and their love was so great that they promised they would never cheat on each other and if one of them would do it than he or she should die. Everything was fine until the boy cheated with another girl so the promise took it’s toll. The boy died in a motorcycle accident. Shortly after the girl also died, not being able to live without him” – This story is coming from the island of Bali, Indonesia.
Because of the story the musical piece is structured in 5 different sections:
1 – First sight: this is the moment when the boy and girl meet for the first time and they fall in love.
2 – Playing: in this part they play the game of love which is not necessarily so much erotic but can easily be associated with a children game.
3 – The Promise: here they make the promise that will decide their fate.
4 – Deceived: the girl learns of the unfaithfulness of the boy when he has the accident.
5 – Last sight: The final part of the piece, representing the last moment they saw each other and their spirits vanishing – remembering the promise.
Because of the origin of the story, the most important motive in the piece comes from an ancient Balinese song – modified here in different parts of the piece to meet the requirements of the specific character. From the same reason „ A lover’s promise” has strong influences from the traditional music of Bali in rythm, harmony, polyphony and melody. And of course the 5 tone modes on which the piece is based are coming from this traditional music.
- ZzzBucium for horn and piano – Sorin Lupascu (horn), Mihai Murariu (piano), recorded in 2009 at the University of Music Bucharest.
In Romanian language zbucium means something agitated, a kind of nervousness, a struggle. Also, the bucium is a traditional musical instrument used by the Romanian shepherds of the Carpathian mountains, used in the olden days to send different signals related to the shepherding activities. Some say that these types of instruments are the ancestors of the modern French Horn itself. Starting with these two words I created the music which is in some parts agitated and it also has influences from the traditional way of playing the “bucium”, especially in the middle part. This piece was awarded with the first prize (ex equo) in the composition competition for students Stefan Niculescu which took place in Bucharest in 2009.
- Flux for flute and piano – Ana Chifu (flute), Mihai Murariu (piano), Ni Made Pradnyani Dewi (dancer), University of Arts George Enescu Iasi 2009.
This is the first piece I wrote in Bali, with fresh influences from the Island’s musical traditions. Dewi supported me to write something new, and I got the influences from the ostinato rhythms of Beleganjur Gamelan, while walking on a beach in Sanur (South-East of Bali). In Romanian language “Flux” refers to the tidal movements of the ocean, which is influenced by the moon phases. This is why I imagined my music constructed from “waves” of musical phrases, going up and down, in a similar fashion with the water movements. Dewi created the choreography for this performance which took place in Iasi in 2009.
- Music… from another movie for 2 horns and orchestra – Romanian National Radio Orchestra conducted by Radu Postavaru, soloists Iulian Zbarcea and Cristian Borcan, performed at the Concert Hall “Mihail Jora” of the Romanian National Broadcasting Company in 2008.
I wrote this concerto for the graduation of my University Years (2006) and that time I wanted to make something totally different than the other works of my colleagues, which were all played in a public concert at the graduation ceremony. In Romania we have a saying that sounds like this: “it’s from another movie” – meaning that something is totally different than the usual things that are happening. Also, I wanted to create a film-like music, so the title has a double meaning. It’s the music from a movie which doesn’t exist. But still, I had some images in my mind when I created the different parts of the concert. The technical capabilities of the horn were very well explained to me by my brother Iulian Zbarcea and his colleague and friend, Cristi Borcan. Without them I wouldn’t know about so many effects that the french horn can play, and this is also why I dedicated this piece to them both.
- Nightmosphere for oboe and percussion – performed by Oleg Balanuta (oboe) and Alexandru Matei (percussion) at the concert hall of the University of Music from Bucharest.
When I wrote this piece I imagined a misterious oriental dancer which could be part of a story from One Thousand and One Nights, all because the percussion player, mister Alexandru Matei, received a new Tombak (Iranian drum) and that’s why I thought I should write a music with oriental character.