Adelija Faizulina

Adeliia Faizullina (b.1988) is an Uzbekistan-born Tatar composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and quray player. As a composer, she explores cutting-edge vocal colors and paints delicate and vibrant atmospheres inspired by the music and poetry of Tatar folklore. The Washington Post has praised her compositions as “vast and varied, encompassing memory and imagination.” Her recent commissions include works for Jennifer Ko, the Tesla Quartet, and Johnny Gandelsman. Her works have also been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet.

Adeliia received her BM in Voice in Kazan, Russia, and BM in Music Composition at Gnessins Russian Academy of Music. She holds an MM in Music Composition from the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently pursuing her PhD in Music & Multimedia Composition at Brown University. Currently Adeliia resides in Providence, RI. She also happens to blind. She enjoys taking walks and being in nature.

About the piece

Bolghar is a city in Tatarstan, founded in the 8th Century, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I visited it a few years ago, in the summertime, for my sister’s wedding, which was in a beautiful white mosque, not far from an archaeological museum. It’s a beautiful town, surrounded by some forest and fields. Bolghar’s beauty comes from its incorporation of nature, where buildings have spacious distances between them, filled with trees and gardens.

In this piece, I describe this relationship with nature by using the natural tendencies of the instruments. I base my harmonies on the overtone series. With strings, I use harmonics and open strings. With winds, I use the sound of air, formed as a ritual: repeating patterns with slight differences. In the climax of the piece, the music jumps back to the past, to the present, back to the past again, and finally, to the future.