RAGAFONIA has 12 short movements and an approx. duration of 26 minutes. It was commissioned by and dedicated to american guitarist Michael Kudirka in 2016, and in 2022 a version of the piece was commissioned by Danish percussionist Matias Seibæk. The piece is based on, and directly inspired by the research of French ethnomusicologist Alain Daniélou – specifically, his book The Ragas of Northern Indian Music (Munishiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1980). In this musical system, different groups of ragas or scales are used/performed throughout the different parts of the day. Daniélou’s work is an extensive research not only of the ragas themselves, but also of the types of expression, ideas, images and musical gestures associated with each one of them. It is highly worthwhile to read through these beautiful descriptions to get a feel of the aesthetical and symbolic depth embedded in this vast musical landscape.
Throughout its 12 movements, Ragafonia traverses through different ragas that represent each of the different stages in a day. The piece moves chromatically through the 12 tones as well, and I have included an appendix with all the different ragas I have used. Even though the latter provides a window to the inner workings of the piece, it should only be taken as a point of reference an not as a literal guide for the material used. Sometimes only the gestures belonging to the ragas are included, or other times transpositions of the previous ragas are used only to arrive at the relevant raga at the very end of a movement. Nevertheless I think it is a good resource to have because the material is so interesting in itself, and I hope having it listed and available in this way gives opportunity for both further research and use.