s sax, b sax, tpt, tbn, pno (+ harm), 2 perc, 2 vln, vla, vcl, db
duration: c. 16 minutes
Commissioned by the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff
First concert performance by Charlie Barber + Band at Chapter Theatre, Cardiff on 17 September 1991 with James Mainwaring (soprano saxophone), Matthew Bailey (baritone saxophone), Jonathan Mainwaring (trumpet), Gwyn Daniels (trombone), Gareth Davies (piano), Phil Girling (percussion), Andy Cookson (percussion), Alison Francis (violin), Richard Treglown (violin), Matthew Roberts (viola), Vicki Higginson (cello), Robin Hames (double bass)
Khyal consists of a series of pieces written during April 1991. Each section is named after a rag, a Hindu word for a scale or mode, and the melodic material has been drawn from transcriptions of vocal improvisations by classical singers from the northern regions of India.Khyal, meaning ‘lyric’ as well as ‘imagination’, is a genre of Indian classical music which was cultivated in the royal courts of Hindustan. Legend, scattered commentary and speculation suggest that the genre originated with the poet and composer Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1251 – 1326). From about the mid-eighteenth century, the art of singing khyal developed through hereditary musicians and the musical knowledge fostered within families who specialised in vocal music. In performing khyal, the singer presents a brief composition and then improvises according to certain guidelines.In the present set of pieces, the first section Malkauns is based on an improvisation by Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1903 – 1968); Jaya Javanti is inspired by an improvisation by Faiyaz Husain Khan (1886 – 1950); and Gaud Malhar takes as its starting point a vocal improvisation by Narayan Rao Vyas (1902 – 1984).
ii. Jaya Javanti
iv. Gaud Malhar