The second movement of my Sonata for Flute and Piano begins in a Hindustani (north Indian) raga called Ahir Bhairav. I love the dark, yearning nature of Ahir Bhairav — the way it feels so otherworldly, and seems to long for a place that is just out of reach.
As the movement progresses, it moves into another raag called Rageshree — which is much more warm and enveloping. I love the way these raags combine, which you can hear at the end of the piece — it creates this layered atmosphere that juxtaposes deep yearning with comfort and warmth.
While both melodies adhere to the principals of Hindustani classical music, the act of combining them is something that can or would only take place in the context of Western music.
Audio guide will be available for full sonata when it is completed.
This piece is being commissioned by Chamber Music Palisades (Susan Greenberg, flute), and Benjamin Smolen, flute. The second movement of the sonata was premiered on April 16, 2019 at St. Mathew’s Church in Pacific Palisades, CA by Susan Greenberg (flute) and Dolores Stevens (piano). The premiere of the other two movements is upcoming, by Benjamin Smolen.