This composition was part of choreographic work CRONOS created by Andréine Bel, performed at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (Mumbai, India) and Shri Ram Center (Delhi) in October 1994.
The following grammar “-gr.ShapesInRhythm” was composed (in about 2 days) by Andréine and Bernard Bel.
Six dancers were on stage: Smriti Mishra, Olivier Rivoirard, Vijayshree Chaudhary, Arindam Dasgupta, Somenath Chatterjee and Suresh Shetty.
The musical framework comprises 9 parts using very different sound patches played on Roland D-50 synthesizer with Musitronics extension card. Each part is built on the rhythmic structure of a tihai: three equal repetitions of a rhythmic pattern, interspersed with two equal rests, with the constraint that the last unit should fall on the first beat of the rhythmic cycle. The cycle is 16 beats, namely tintal in North-Indian music/dance. Tihais are basic figures of Kathak dance and tabla drumming.
Production and time-setting would take 14 minutes on an old Mac IIci! For this reason, subgrammar instructions have been optimized: instead of the default “RND” mode, “ORD” was used wherever possible, otherwise “SUB1” whose process is a unique “parallel” rewriting of the work string.
Playing the piece required the setting of 30-millisecond quantization which reduced 222 times the size of the phase table. Read page Complex ratios in polymetric expressions for a detailed explanation.
At the time this grammar was created, BP2 did not support articulation nor glossaries. This grammar highlighted the need for such features.
Smooth time and time patterns (with time-objects t1, t2 and t3) have been used because the dancers expected initial sections to start slow and speed up. Thus, the composition starts at metronome 60, continues at metronome 80 and finishes at 88. In this composition, however, striated time would be a much better option because speed changes can be managed by the “_tempo()” tool: forget time patterns, set metronome to 88 and insert _tempo(60/88) then _tempo(80/88) and finally _tempo(1) to modify speeds. This work was an incentive to implement the “_tempo()” performance tool…Click this link to display the score of this piece.
➡ Video at the bottom of this page.
An excerpt of this work is displayed in the following video from 3mn 36s to 3mn 48s: