There is a tradition in Hindustani classical music of Malhar ragas, of music that – when played with intention and inspiration – holds the capacity to invoke rain. To Call the Rain imagines this ritual in orchestral sound. Solo strings play delicate melodies drawing upon one of the ragas, and the orchestra reacts in vivid colour, responding to the call. What begins as a melodic voice grows from gentle patter to downpour, as movement and flow, drops and ripples and lush textures fill the space.
Commissioned by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Eric Jacobsen, Music Director.
This piece features extended solos drawn from the orchestra for a few string players, based largely in and around the Hindustani raag Miyan ki Malhar. Audio guides demonstrating the ornaments for each player with a featured solo are included below: