Karnataka (Audio & Notation)

“Karnataka” is the final track from the All India Permit EP and is based entirely on the Carnatic Raga Sree. There is a Hindustani version of this raga, but the two only have the name in common. The Carnatic Sree contains 5 notes ascending, 7 notes descending and coneys a strong minor sound. The scale degrees on the way up are: 1-2-4-5-b7-8; and 8-b7-5-6-b7-5-4-2-b3-2-1 on the way down. The minor 3rd and major 6th are omitted on the ascent and must be approached from below. They must also be minimally shown, appearing almost as ghost notes.

The form of the piece is A-B-A-B-A, with the A section being a drum solo over a looped phrase and B being the melodic solo for the guitar. This is inspired by typical Hindustani tabla-soloist forms, where after a melodic introduction, the tabla players performs a small solo as an intro, then the focus shifts to the soloist, who makes his or her own statement. At the conclusion of the soloist’s improvisation, the soloist plays a statement for the tabla player to solo over. When this solos finishes, the attention again returns to the soloist and this passing of the baton continues until there is a mutual decision to end the piece.

“Karnataka” could be performed for hours, but in this case we’re clocking in at 6:34. This marks the last post of 2014. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more material in 2015.


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