Title: Raga Nau Year Completed: 2013 Duration: 4:30 mins Instrumentation: Flute Quintet (piccolo, 2 C flutes, alto flute, bass flute) Credits: Commissioned by Sonja Giles and Kim Scott for the 2013 National Flute Convention Premiere: August 9, 2013, Mariott New Orleans: Sonja Giles, Kim Scott, Erica Peel, Shivhan Dohse, Christine Beard and Derek Charke, flutes
Raga Nau is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to create a meditative character. Raga Nau is in 9/8 time, subdivided 3+2+2+2. ‘Nau’ is the English translation of the number nine in Hindi. Similar to my other Raga flute works, Raga Nau plays with several polyrhythmic patterns that define the rhythmic flavour of the piece. At any time several distinctive subdivisions of the 9/8 time are at play. The alto and bass flutes act an isorhythmic talea, perhaps imitative of the tabla. While the other three 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.