Resonance of Red details
for sitār, tablā and harpsichord (2013)
Sitār 1 Percussionist: Tablā (tablā [dāhinā] and bāyān) Harpsichord (lower and upper manuals, 8+8 coupling, buff stop)
duration: 15′ 00″
Australian Music Centre
Resonance of Red refers to the work’s inspiration through multifaceted references to both Indian Bangāla Bhairava rāga and its hint of Chinese culture (the red association)—that underpins my Confucian-inspired living-colour aesthetic. The rāga has associations to the sensuous Bāngālī—a female lutenist—and red similar to the China rose. The music’s living-colour aesthetic embodies these musical associations: after a sharp start from harpsichord and tablā articulations, living-colours emerge in prepared and inside fingered strings on the keyboard instrument, bāyān drum hand slides, and subtle pitch vibrato coupled with chikāri plus sympathetic string resonances on sitār—that evolve into the Bangāla Bhairava rāga. The resonances of colour are intercut by jazzy interpolations on harpsichord and the remnants of traditional North Indian tablā patterns and vocalize (such as Moharā) that are all swept up into wild extemporization-inspired sitār lines. The form of the work moves from colour resonances to two central improvisatory-like frenetic climaxes—both framed by distilled colour sections—before returning to the quiet opening red rāga resonances.
Commissioned by Vive’ Vinçent (Paris based harpsichordist) for performance at the interdisciplinary event SLOW, Toronto, Canada, November 2014 and Paris, France 2015.