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.


(1) A normal notehead indicates ordinary tone. However, often a combination of ordinary tone and chuffing attacks using "ch" sounds (on the bass flute in particular) should be explored.

(2) A triangle notehead indicates a “toneless” attack. Blow across the tone-hole (not into the tone-hole as you normally would) whilst using a harsh "ch", "k", or "t" articulation. For single tonguing use "ch". For double tonguing use "ch k". And for triple tonguing use "ch k t". Feel free to overblow at times capturing some of the harmonics and producing a grittier sound. Experiment with using combinations of "ch k t" for single tongued passages as well.

(3) A diamond notehead indicates aeolian sounds. Produce an airy sound using "sh".

(4) A square notehead indicates a note to be sung.
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derek charke gyarah
Derek Charke, multi-tracked flutes w/electric keyboard