Kali’s Invocation and Manifestation

September 6, 2019

This is a programmatic piece that opens with slow and simple melodic figures, which are introduced and stacked upon one another with the looping pedal. This section comes to an end as the work starts to speed up in stages.

At the first tempo change a story of Durga and Kali begins. The land is attacked by a demon and the Goddess Durga moves to protect her people from this invader. As she attempts to destroy him, she soon realizes that for every drop of blood falling another demon is cloned and eventually there is a whole army to contend with. At this point Durga calls Kali. Emerging from Durga’s forehead, the ten-armed Kali fills the sky and land with her roars. Around her neck is a wreath of skulls and in every hand a sword. She sweeps through the demon’s army of clones, decapitating and devouring them in an ever-faster whirl. Sated at last she flies to earth to rest.

This piece is for classical guitar and looping pedal. For the most part there are continuous loops, so that after 8 beats, another pattern is introduced. The texture gets denser, until a new section begins and the previous loops are erased and new ones started. I have written this in two staves where the top one is the music coming from the looped playback, and is written in a reduced size. The bottom stave is what the performer plays and indicates when loops are erased and started.

The loops are performed live and this coming together of creation and performance makes for a compelling experience.

William Beauvais
Toronto, Ontario
September 6, 2019