The title of this piece is a conglomeration of two words: the Italian word ‘tutti’, means ‘all’ or ‘everyone’, and the term ‘tarana’ designates a specific Hindustani (North Indian) musical form, whose closest Western counterpart is the ‘scat’ in jazz. Made up of rhythmic syllables, a tarana is the singer’s chance to display agility and dexterity. While a Hindustani tarana is a solo form, I wanted to bring the tarana into an ensemble setting.
Tuttarana was commissioned by the Mount Holyoke College Glee Club for their 2014-15 season, and has since been performed across the US, also in arrangements for SATB and brass quintet.
An addendum: Three years after I wrote this piece, the #metoo movement, created by Tarana Burke broke on social media. It occurred to me that the title of this piece, if read a different way, literally means “We are all Tarana.” I couldn’t believe the incredible coincidence that this work, a powerful 3-minute tidal wave of sound, written for an all-female ensemble from the oldest women’s college in the country, bore this name. I’m so grateful for what this movement has done to move the discussion forward about the horrors we face as women, and how we can begin to change and heal our society.
The text of this piece is comprised of onomatopoeic syllables based in the Hindi language — it has no specific words.
Additionally: Tuttarana is based in Raag Jog. You will hear the constant inflection point between what sounds like major and minor modalities to a Western ear.
The original version of this piece (SSA) was commissioned by Mount Holyoke Glee Club, Lindsay Pope, conductor. It was premiered January, 17 2015 at Mount Holyoke College, in South Hadley MA.
Since that time, Tuttarana has been performed by choirs all over the world, and arranged for SATB chorus and brass quintet.