Amelia Cuni-Werner Durand: Ashtayama (Song of Hours)

The title ASHTAYAMA refers to the ancient tradition, inherited from the rituals of the Hindu temples, dividing the daily cycle into 8 time belts of 3 hours each. The musical modes, called ragas, are chosen according to this subdivision. A similar relationship between music and natural cycles is manifest in the European Book of Hours, the monastic daily liturgy practised since medieval times. In the live performance, eight songs follow the natural unfolding of the daily cycle through various shades of light and darkness; reflecting on the moods and rituals of life´s cycles; exploring the manifold aspects and hues of daily actions. The interplay of music and light is obviously very relevant to the theme of this work and becomes an integral part of the performance. [ASHTAYAMA was performed on March 5th, 2004 at the Other Minds 10 Festival. The CD was released on Amiata records, Florence, 2000]

Terry Riley, composer, says about ASHTAYAMA´s music: '' ASTHAYAMA is a powerful and moving work. A fragrant garland of ragas progresses through the time periods of the day and night revealing the subtle shades of color and mood which are at the heart of the treasured tradition of Dhrupad music. In ASHTAYAMA, tradition and experimentation reach a fine tuned balance contributing to a new viewpoint of an ancient form.''

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