Keshovati : flute solo
by Wendy Hiscocks (2002)
The story of the Champa flower first came to my attention when I was setting Rabindranath Tagore's poem 'The Champa Flower' for a set of songs called Mother and Child. In Tagore's delightful poem he is a child who imagines what it would be like to change himself into a champa flower and hide from his mother. This aroused my curiosity about the importance of the champa flower itself, and when I enquired into its origins I was given two different verbal accounts of the Bengali folk tale concerning the sons and daughter of a King and Queen who underwent a magical transformation into champa and parul flowers.
It is possible to perform Keshovati without speaking the narrative, though in such a case it is suggested that the text be reproduced in the programme notes. The short musical phrase for the flower speech can be replaced by a short passage in multiphonics of the performer's choice if the flautist is fluent in that technique. A multiphonic effect is desirable in the fourth movement ('The Reunion') where indicated to create an unstable chordal effect rather than only sounding the higher octave.
Instrumentation: Flute (with optional narration between movements).
Contents note: 1. The King -- 2. The Six Queens -- 3. The Separation -- 4. The Reunion.
Commission note: Commissioned by Mark Underwood.
First performance: by Mark Underwood — 29 Nov 02. Reading, UK
Performances of this work
29 Nov 02: Reading, UK. Featuring Mark Underwood.
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