My Heart Is In the East is a two-person play written by Jessica Litwak, based on her experiences teaching in Iraq in 2012 and 2013. The piece is set both in modern-day Iraq and in 11th Century Cordoba, Spain.
For the scenes in the modern day, I wanted to encapsulate a feeling of "hurry up and wait" - there was always a sense of urgency in the text, but not always the ability to take action. I made use of a series of synthesizers melded with a low, monotonous beat.
To transition to Cordoba, I developed, with Jen, the sense of rewinding through time, back through motifs we'd visited earlier in the show and introducing traditional elements and instrumentation for the first time in the show.
The sound of Cordoba was one of the first cues I worked on. A simple sketch of a melodic idea very early on in the creative process ended up becoming the basis for a piece of music used in Cordoba.
Midway through their time in Cordoba, the two characters have a short dance together. I had been listening to a few recordings of music from the time period but before writing this, I went back and studied them a little more closely to be sure that I was familiar with the shape and motifs that were present in the pieces.