Works New Shruti Manuella Blackburn

New Shruti

  • Manuella Blackburn
  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Duration: 12:00
  • Instrumentation: sarod and fixed medium

In the same way that a shruti box or tampura provides the supporting drone for many Indian Classical music performances, my composition seeks to create a complementary line for the sarod material within the piece. Derived from recordings of sarod, sitar, veena, violin, tanpura, swarmandal and ghungroo ankle bells, New Shruti forms a montage from all these sounds while exploring the possibilities of sound transformations common to electroacoustic music. In places the work goes beyond just a drone function — it aims to instigate, provoke, and energize the sarod material through three main sections (i) glitch and crackle (ii) pitch curves and (iii) minor slow section. Through creating this work I have discovered the beauty of both the timbres of Indian instrumental sounds, and also stylistic features commonly associated with the tradition and performance practice such as gamakas (pitch bends) and tihai rhythmic cadences. Interpreting and reworking these features into my own music language has brought me closer to a musical culture previously unknown and unfamiliar.

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New Shruti, realized in collaboration with Rajeeb Chakraborty, is the second in a series of pieces composed in collaboration with Milapfest based at Liverpool Hope University (England, UK). The yearlong project aims to examine the translation and transference of cultural sound to electroacoustic music and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Many thanks go to Rajeeb Chakraborty, HN Bhaskar, Gaurav Mazumdar, Aditi Sen, Shyla Shan, Rashmi Patel, and the whole Milapfest team.


Premiere

  • April 27, 2013, Rajeeb Chakraborty, sarod • Milapfest’s Music for the Mind and Soul, The Capstone Theatre — Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool (England, UK)

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