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Kolam : for 5 percussionists

by Tim Dargaville (2012, this version: 2007)

Score Sample

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This sample is from the Saxophone Quartets version of this work

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Kolam for orchestra


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Kolam for orchestra / Tim Dargaville.

Version: This product features the Full orchestra version of this work

Library shelf no. 784.2/DAR 1 [Available for loan]



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Kolam : for saxophone quartet / Tim Dargaville.

Version: This product features the Saxophone Quartets version of this work

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Work Overview

Kolam is a ritualistic form of decorative threshold art, drawn on the ground using rice flour at the entrance of a private home. It is an ancient practice traditionally passed on from mother to daughter. A kolam itself is a mandala-like drawing composed of a continuous line curving around a matrix of dots. In the state of Tamil Nadu, in South India, kolam-making is widely practised by the women of the house each morning from daybreak. Kolams are thought to bestow prosperity to homes, are seen as a sign of welcome, and also ward off the "evil eye". Kolam patterns range between geometric and mathematical line drawings to free form artwork and closed shapes. Once drawn, these designs are left to be walked over, for passing insects to eat, and gradually disappear by the end of the day only to be reformed again the next morning.

Kolam : for Orchestra is intended to be a sonic meditation on this ancient and mysterious practice, and draws inspiration from the geometric nature of kolam design, as well its ephemeral nature. In particular, the temporal design and rhythmic writing in this work have been inspired by patterns and processes found in the parallel South Indian vocal percussion artform konnakol.

Work Details

Year: 2012, this version: 2007

Instrumentation: Percussion


Resonate article: Inside the labyrinth, on the threshold by Tim Dargaville

Resonate article: Speaking in Tongues - a concert retrospective by Tim Dargaville

Performances of this work

10 Oct 2017: at The fire in which we burn (Recital Hall West, Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

28 Apr 2017: at Speaking in Tongues - The music of Tim Dargaville (Salon - Melbourne Recital Centre). Featuring New Music Ensemble, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.

28 Apr 2017: at Speaking in Tongues - The music of Tim Dargaville (Salon - Melbourne Recital Centre). Featuring Bernadette Harvey.

4 Mar 17: International Grammar School, Ultimo, NSW. Featuring Nexas Saxophone Quartet.

19 Mar 2016: at Melbourne Made (Church of All Nations). Featuring Timothy Phillips, Arcko Symphonic Ensemble.

14 Oct 2014: at Unerhörte Musik: sonic.art Quartet (BKA Theater (Berlin)). Featuring Sonic Art Quartet (saxophone quartet).

7 Jun 2013: at Continuum Sax : Laughing Gas (The Independent Theatre). Featuring Continuum Sax.

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