Vif (2023)
piano solo

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Vif was composed in June 2023. It is based on the first thirty-six of the seventy-two melakarta scales of south Indian music. This set of scales is called purva madhyama, which means that each scale contains a perfect fourth degree. (The other thirty-six scales of the melakarta have a sharped fourth degree (called prati madhyama).) The scales are imbricated into a chain of 144 notes which forms the basic material of the composition. The rhythm of the composition is likewise derived from the chain. The result is a lively composition full of jocular gestures and unexpected tonalities. I have composed a companion composition called Claire using the prati melakarta scales.