Raga Terah (2012)
flute quartet and keyboard (or computer DAW, or CD)
Raga Terah is a companion work to my earlier quartets: Raga Gyarah, Raga Das, Raga Cha, and Raga Saat. It is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to emulate the spirit of a raga through the use of various extended flute techniques. It is repetitive and meditative in character. Raga Terah is in 13/16 time. ‘Terah’ is the English translation of the number thirteen in Hindi. Similar to the other Raga flute quartets, Raga Terah 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.
A keyboard part is included as a drone in this work. This can be performed live, or it can be pre-recorded. Three files are included with this work: (1) keyboard.wav file with the pre-recorded keyboard file (44.1 kHz, 24 bit) (2) click.wav mono file with the click track (3) keyboard.mid with the keyboard midi file.
(1) keyboard.wav [audio] file can be played from your favourite computer DAW. click.wav file with the click track is included that lines up at 0:00 with the sound track. Using this click track is highly recommended.
(2) keyboard.mid [generic midi] file can be imported to your favourite computer DAW. Using a click track is highly recommended. There are two substantial benefits to this version: (a) using the midi file in a DAW allows you to adjust the tempo, and (b) you can use any keyboard sound you wish.
(3) Of course, you can simply use a CD recording of the keyboard part. But this may be tricky to coordinate. I highly recommend options 1 or 2.
A triangle note-head indicates a “toneless” attack. Blow across the tone-hole (not into the tone-hole as you normally would) while producing a harsh “CHA” sound.
A square note-head indicates a note to be sung.
Breathing and Endurance:
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; it’s okay to drop a few notes here and there!
Performed by Derek Charke (multi-tracked flutes)