soprano and alto saxophones

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Vibhatsa takes its title from one of the eight rasa-s (literally "juices") of Hindu aesthetic theory. It is thought that each rasa's set of affects can arise from the correct composition of gestures, musical materials and performance situations. Vibhatsa connotes the mood of stylized hate and disgust which is echoed by the kinds of lines, materials and interactions given to the two saxophones.

This composition is one of a projected series of works which include Raudra (anger and fury) for solo flute, Shanti (peace and serenity) three clarinets, Karuna (longing for union with a lover or God) for violoncello and piano. From these titles it is evident that the "acceptable" spectrum of emotional expression within the Hindu classical performance arts is as least as wide as its counterpart in Western art music and jazz.