Matthew Van Brink (b.1978)
Composed in 2001
I. Garam Masala
Dal Dosai takes its title and movment names from the realm of Indian cuisine. Dal Dosai is a pancake usually stuffed with curried potatoes or other spiced vegetables. Garam Masala is an aromatic mixture of nutmeg, cloves, black pepper, and cinnamon, all ground together and sprinkled on the dal at the very end. Asafoetida is a pungent resin extracted from the ferula root. When it is cooked in hot oil, its odor dissipates, exuding instead a warm truffle-like flavor. Asafoetida is usually the first ingredient added to a flavoring of oil and spices called a Tarka, the last step of preparing a dal. As the Tarka heats up, it pops, sprays, and splatters.
Though the titles appear to have inspired the piece, the converse is actually true. Flutist Thomas Robertello, who commissioned the sonata, created the titles after the composition was finished, and after he had spent some time getting to know the music.