for instrumental ensemble

MUDRA is the seventh part in the TANTRIC CYCLE, a series of compositions based on Eastern philosophy.

It was written in 2009-2010 in commission of the Nieuw Ensemble and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam.
The work was inspired by the hand positions (mudras), known in the East as a component of Buddhism and Hinduism.

In this composition 11 different mudras (expressions of protection, enlightenment, devotion etc.) were used - as in Tantrism - to express a devata (God), a quality or a state of conscience.

The proportions between microcosm and macrocosm were outlined musically, as well in the larger form as in the smaller musical phrase.

Typical in the work MUDRA is the confrontation between equal and microtonal temperament and the heterophonic use of the woodwinds.

The work has a ritual character with a clear musical fundament.
In MUDRA the sound (mantra), the form (yantra) and the movement (mudra) melt together.
The composition consists of 17 parts and 3 interludes. Two parts (Lotus and Om) have a crucial position.
Lotus is in the golden section of the work, time and metre are used in a free way.
Om (referring to the Buddhist sound) - as the conclusion of the work and also of the total cycle - dissolves in noise for the strings, while the winds play an ethnic melody from behind the stage.

Parts and Interludes:
Offering (I, II)
Discussion (I, II, III)
Knowledge (I, II)
     Interlude 1
     Interlude 2
Enlightenment (I, II)
Protection (I, II)
     Interlude 3



Norsk Musikforlag (publisher)

Download PDF (sample)


for instrumental ensemble
(flute, oboe, clarinet, mandolin, guitar, harp, piano, violin, viola, violoncello, contrabass and percussion)
(+/- 27')
Commissioned by the Nieuw Ensemble and Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam
first performance: May 13th 2010, Muziekgebouw aan't IJ in Amsterdam
by the Nieuw Ensemble
with Ed Spanjaard as conductor