sumud: rhetoric of resistance

in three movements

Sumud: Rhetoric of Resistance in Three Movements

-for two pianos and two percussion players-

 

Sumud is a musical investigation and observation of protest rhythms, the power of repetition and synchronization, and the rhetoric of resistance as expressed through protest chants. It was written as part of my search for abstract political expression in music. Sumud explores the interaction between music and politics, and tries to erase

the borders between them, drawing lines between persistence, resistance, and resonance.

 

Sumud, an Arabic word literally means ‘persistence’, or ‘steadfastness’.

It is a political-ideological concept and strategy, which emerged in response to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. The Sumud manifests through a non-violent resistance, which is a third way between accepting the occupation and turning to violent means.

Sumud embodied in two ways: Static Sumud is the struggle against the disenfranchisement of land, expressed in one’s clinging to one’s land. Its second manifestation is the dynamic political strive in search of new and alternative channels of resistance.

The piece was premiered at the April in Santa Cruz festival 2013 by yarn/wire ensemble.

It was later revised, and that new version was performed by pianists Kumi Uyeda and Michael Seth Orland, and percussionists Ward Spangler and Aiden McKee, at the April in Santa Cruz festival 2014.

A Rhythm of Popular Unity