In Hindustani music, an avartan is a rhythmic cycle. Each avartan returns to its point of origin, while simultaneously moving the music forward into new territory.
This work progresses from what I imagine a listener would perceive as characteristically Indian (almost as if it was the transcription of a Hindustani melody and drone), and then moves slowly along the continuum towards incorporating more Western elements, finally ending with only a brass quartet — but musically coming full circle.
The entire work is an avartan of sorts: it moves along every point of a continuum and ultimately returns to the original point with a renewed perspective.
Audio guides for individual instruments available here.
1 perc (can be played by pianist)
strings (ideal: 126.96.36.199.1 | min: 188.8.131.52.1)
This piece was commissioned by American Composers Orchestra (George Manahan, conductor). It was premiered on April 1, 2016 at Carnegie Hall.
Major subsequent performances include Richmond Symphony (February 2019)
Read Reena’s full interview about this piece on ACO’s blog, Sound Advice.