Title: Raga Gyarah
Year Completed: 2012
Duration: 9:30 mins
Instrumentation: Flute quartet and keyboard
Purchase/Rent: Canadian Music Centre
Raga Gyarah is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to create a meditative character. Raga Gyarah is in 11/16 time. ‘Gyarah’ is the English translation of the number eleven in Hindi. Similar to the other Raga flute quartets, Raga Gyarah plays with several polyrhythmic patterns that define the rhythmic flavour of the piece. Flutes 3 and 4 act an isorhythmic talea, perhaps imitative of the tabla. While the other two voices provide melodic figurations. Many sounds are created with a technique whereby the flutist must enunciate the word ‘cha’ to produce the desired ‘toneless’ and rough sounding effect. Like my other Raga works, breathing and endurance can be an issue. Pace yourself, do not over-blow, (amplification will assist with this) and breathe where necessary.