• Kevin Volans
  • Chakra for 3 percussionists and orchestra (2012)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by SISU Percussion Ensemble, Norway

  • 2+pic.2(ca).2(2bcl).2(cbn)/4331/2perc/hp/str(
  • 3 Percussion
  • 25 min

Programme Note

Chakra was originally conceived as a piece for three percussionists and premiered at Ultima festival in Oslo in 2004. This enlarged re-working of the piece for percussionists and orchestra was created for SISU Percussion Ensemble and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and first performed in 2012.

Kevin Volans writes:

“I was interested in writing a virtuoso piece in which the speed of the drumming was such that, rather than rhythms, I would be working with 'planes' of sound - planes which seemed to me to give an illusion of curving. To assist this, and help with their co-ordination, the players are grouped in a circle. Many of the patterns move around from one player to another, ascending or descending in a spiral fashion. I wanted to eliminate any hint of an ethnic quality to the music, so chose drums which are distinctly western. Also, for the first time since the 1970s, I used some serial composition techniques, partially in acknowledgement of my teacher of that time, Stockhausen, who turned 75 the year I wrote the piece.”

‘Chakra’ is a sanskrit word meaning ‘wheel’ - a name which reflects some moments in the piece.