tisra matya tala

During my graduate studies at the University of Denver, I took a course on the rhythmic processes of music from southern India, otherwise known as Carnatic music. These processes are organized under a system called tala, and incorporate patterns of hand motions used to keep time as well as a single-syllable-based, rhythmic language called solkattu. For my final project in the course, I composed a short piece for guitar and cello based on a 3+2+3 tala pattern, which can be heard in the theme at the beginning and end of this piece. In the context of the pattern, the groups of 3 would be counted with a downward clap with the palm facing down, followed by consecutive taps of the pinky and ring fingers. The group of 2 would be counted with a downward clap with the palm facing down, followed by a downward clap with the palm facing up. Later expanding the piece, I added a brief cello cadenza followed by a period of interplay between the guitar and cello.

Performed by Joe Engel (cello) and Will Brobston (guitar)