Movement in Rupak Tal for two violins (1992)

Violins:  Walter Mony

                          Calvin Lewis

The 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.