By Derek Charke
Commissioned by Sonja Giles and Kim Scott for the 2013 National Flute Convention
Raga Nau is in 9/8 time, subdivided 3+2+2+2. 'Nau' is the English translation of the number nine in Hindi. Raga Nau is not based on an authentic Raga, but rather attempts to emulate the sound world through the use of various extended flute techniques. It is repetitive and meditative in character. 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.