Dast be Dast Sadie Harrison

Dast be Dast cover
9 mins

Solos, Duos & Trios Duos Traditional Instruments

1 Viola, 1 Rubab

Purchasing options

Two performing scores ISMN 57036-539-5 £6.95 Buy now

viola and rubab

Programme note

Dast be Dast ('Hand to hand in friendship') was commissioned by Cuatro Puntos, a pioneering ensemble of chamber musicians dedicated to global cooperation and peace through the writing and performance of new music worldwide. The piece was written specifically for their violist Kevin Bishop, and for rubab player, Samim Zafar, a student of the extraordinary Afghanistan National Institute for Music (ANIM) in Kabul. Kevin suggested that the piece should represent the two distinct but equal musical cultures of the performers, and as such both players are required to adopt characteristics of each other's traditions, both techniques and languages. Dast be Dast illuminates various aspects of Afghan and Western music-making, with both instruments exploring improvisation alongside notation, controlled imitation with spontaneous elaboration, and Western tonality within Afghan scales. The piece is based on three Afghan songs each heard clearly in the three movements which are played without a break:

I Anar Anar (Pomegranates): a fast song where the two instruments imitate each other, gradually becoming more and more elaborate.

II Allah Hu (This is God): a meditative movement for solo viola based on a specific interpretation of Allah Hu sung as a lullaby by Veronica Doubleday in 2004.

III Watan Jan (Dear Homeland): based on a whirling atan dance in 7/8. Gradually getting faster and faster the players have to keep up with each other's virtuosity!

The work was premiered by Samim and Kevin on 23 June 2014 at ANIM, Kabul, Afghanistan. The work is dedicated to them both with admiration. With thanks also to Veronica Doubleday and John Baily for their continued help and inspiration. 

Samim Zafar and Kevin Bishop, ANIM, Kabul, Afghanistan, 23rd June 2014
  • 29 Sep 2017 | 1:00pm |

    St. John’s Church, Wimbledon


    Diana Mathews (viola)

  • 29 Jan 2017 |

    Broadcast on Antena 2 / The Geography of Sound (Portugal)


    Cuatro Puntos (US sextet)

    Ensemble Zohra (youth ensemble from Afghanistan National Institute of Music)

    Kevin Bishop (solo viola)

  • 17 Jun 2016 |

    British Museum, London


    Peter Sheppard Skaerved (violin)

  • 6 Nov 2015 | 7:00pm | Lutheran Church of St. Mark, Glastonbury, Connecticut | Kevin Bishop (viola)
  • 3 Oct 2014 | Glastonbury, Lutheran Church of St. Mark, Connecticut | Kevin Bishop (viola)
  • 28 Sep 2014 | West Hartford, Unitarian Universalist Church, Connecticut | Kevin Bishop (viola)
  • 22 Aug 2014 | Bach Haus, Cochabamba, Bolivia | Kevin Bishop (viola)
  • 15 Aug 2014 | 7:30pm | Casa de la Cultura, Tarija, Bolivia | Kevin Bishop (viola)
  • 23 May 2014 | 7:30pm |

    St. Mark Lutheran Church, Glastonbury, Connecticut, USA


    Kevin Bishop