Ashakiran "Ray of Hope"
for solo English Horn
by Meera Gudipati
I composed Ashakiran, "Ray of Hope", for my friend Lauren Williams. Ashakiran draws on Hindustani Indian classical music, specifically raag Bhairavi. Traditionally performed in the early morning, Bhairavi uses a scale similar to the Phrygian mode but emphasizes the mediant and tonic. The opening, slowly awakening, evokes this traditional performance of hairavi in the early morning hours. Echoes of tabla, an Indian drum, interrupt vocal, melancholic lines. After an exploration of the growing interplay between the vocal and percussive characters, the tabla fades and the awakening concludes with a lush, low melody.
The second section, lively, evokes the gat, a cyclic, pre-composed phrase which the performer embellishes with variations. Eventually the short embellishments grow into rhythmic entities of their own. The section concludes with a meditative improvisation, inviting the performer to embrace a larger role in the creation of this work.
- Meera Gudipati
Meera Gudipati currently serves as co-principal flute with the United States Coast Guard Band. Previously, she held the position of principal flute with the New Haven Symphony and the South Asian Symphony Orchestra. In addition to exploring her South Asian heritage through performance, Gudipati incorporates Indian classical music in her compositions. Recent commissions include a solo work for English horn player Lauren Williams and a reed quintet for the Yale Music in Schools Initiative. Her accolades include 1st prize at the National Flute Association Orchestral Audition Competition, Kentucky Collegiate Flute Competition, and the Florida Young Artist Competition. Gudipati holds a Master of Music from Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin. As a supporter of local organizations, Gudipati has collaborated with museums and non-profit organizations to amplify culture and history within the local community.