The “Conference of the Birds” is possibly one of the most widely read and widely known pieces of literature in the muslim world, and rightly so. This was the only reading that really caused me to stop and think about what I had read. It gave me so much inspiration that I was able to reach far into the depths of my emotions to create something I’ve never been able to create before, music. I have played piano since the age of 8 years old, and in that time, I’ve attempted to compose songs but to no avail. However, something was different this time. This time, I had so much that I wanted to say and express, that I could’ve composed an entire symphony, given the time.
This quintet is divided into 5 woodwind instruments and each instrument represents a different bird. The piccolo represent the Turtle Dove, who ,”coming plaintively cooing, gone out joyful, returned despondent.” I used a string of runs and shrill notes to express is frailty and yet its joy and happiness. Next comes the oboe which plays the part of the Nightingale. Here I chose the oboe because it has the ability to be both exuberant and melancholy. Here you can see that I’ve tried to incorporate some of the runs like I did in the Turtle Dove’s song, with more somber half notes and sustained notes. The clarinet is nearly a perfect fit for the Falcon because it is able to exude authority without anger or menace. The Falcon was fun to do, because I played with the idea of it being in flight, swooping and soaring back and forth. Which leads into the more regal Pheasant, for whom the horn was an undeniable match and the Goshawk who menacing and veracious deserved the dark bassoon. The goal of the piece was to show the difference between a world in chaos, without God and a world that could come together harmoniously if it was to find God. For much of the piece, it seems like the music is unbearable. There is constant dissonance and clashing that occurs between the instruments. It leaves the audience hoping, begging even, for some sort of resolution. Just when it seems like the piece won’t become at all forgiving to the ear, the birds come together. An overlap in notes occurs in such a way that they are coming into unison, until there remains one voice. Though it is only played by the piccolo, it symbolizes the one voice that reigns in love for God and salvation.