Drops in the Ocean - Pearls of tears was commissioned by Louise Lerche-Lerchenborg who is a "factotum" in Danish musical life. For many years she has been organizing the music festival at Lerchenborg Castle on the island of Zealand. Moreover, she has been clearing the way for Danish musicians and composers abroad. Her husband was the composer and ethnomusicologist Poul Rovsing-Olsen who unfortunately died young in 1982. Rovsing-Olsen participated in the famous Danish expeditions under the leadership of archaeologist P.V. Glob in the Persian Gulf in the 1950’s. While the archaeologists rediscovered a number of prehistorical items in Bahrain, Rovsing-Olsen studied comprehensively this country´s traditional music. The result of his research was published in the book "Music in Bahrain", in 2002.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary for Glob´s expeditions, more or less coinciding with the publishing of Rovsing-Olsen´s book, a cultural event was arranged in Bahrain in 2005. A Danish trio played music by Rovsing-Olsen and I had the honor of composing a piece on the occasion of the festival. Eventually, the piece was played at the Danish cultural institutes in Damascus and Beirut.
Long before Bahrain became rich because of the oil, it was mainly known for its pearl fishing. The pearl plays thus a significant role in nowadays´ Bahrain culture. "The tear" is a returning element in Arab poetry and I remembered a word I once was singing in a song by Schumann: "In your eyes I can see: Pearls of Tears”. I have always thought it was a fantastic word. Possibly, Schumann`s music has inspired me to compose this quartet - the sound of Arab music definitely has.
Peter Bruun / Translated by Marlene Dröge Nielsen