Movement in Rupak Tal for two violins (1992)
source of inspiration for this piece was the seminars led by the great
Ravi Shankar in which Robert Rollin was a participant.
The term Rupak Tal in North Indian music refers to the temporal
and rhythmic organization. Here
it is based on the Indian rhythmic syllables – Tin Tin Na, Dhi Na, Dhi
Na, which transliterates in Western notation to (123) (45) (67) – 7
beats or 7/8 in this work. The
various strands of thematic lines seem to pass through a magic lantern
as they are buffeted about, fragmented, inverted, augmented or
compressed all in a rambunctious tempo with the limping gait of 7/8.
Melodic strands and rhythmic complexities take precedence over
harmonic content. As in
Indian Classical Music, hemiola-like patterns periodically cloud the
sense of meter which is
reasserted when the two players recon verge on the downbeat.
The ensemble intricacies evoke a heady and visceral experience
for players and listeners alike.