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MUSIC

Shruthi Rajasekar, Shruthi, Rajasekar, Singer, Vocalit, Indian Female

LIST OF WORKS

Hover over each   to read more about the piece

 

CHORAL // SATB+

 

Numbers 

written for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

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did you know 

written for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain

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Gaanam 

written for Gabriel Crouch and the Princeton University Glee Club 

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Soneto XVII 

written for the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, ReMix Emerging Composer Program

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Raw Heart 

winner of global award from Donne in Musica (Adkins Chiti Foundazione) & Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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Green Fingers 

shortlisted for the London Oriana five15 Competition

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Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep 

winner of the national Vox Nova Chorale Emerging Composers Competition 

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Gaanam ("singing" in Sanskrit) explores how the treatment of solo voice in Carnatic music can be harnessed by an ensemble. With aleatoric portions, advanced gamakams (oscillations), and intense konnakol (recited Indian rhythms), this piece calls for an ensemble & conductor ready for a challenging but exhilarating journey.  ~10 mins

Soneto 17 is a layered setting of Neruda's eponymous love poem that features lush stasis interspersed with driven motion.  "Tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño": we are "so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep"  ~6 mins

Raw Heart sets an excerpt of Danielle Sosin's novel "The Long-Shining Waters." The text is a meditation on nature and an ode to mindfulness.

The music, though intricate, is intimate and accessible.  ~3 mins

This famous poem has provided solace and hope to

individuals across time and space. This re-imagining of Frye's words evokes her imagery through a garland of ragas, the emotive Indian scales. Since its premiere, it has frequently appeared on Choral Stream.   ~4 mins

Playful and thoughtful, Green Fingers is a fast-paced tribute to the gardens and communities that nourish our stomachs and souls.  ~3 mins

Throughout history, humans have used positional numerical systems  to organize the world around them. For musicians, numbers are critical in the rehearsal process especially: we use them to count time, measure melodic and rhythmic distances, and situate ourselves in the context around us. Creating music – indeed, living our lives – seems unimaginable without numbers; they certainly deserve their own performance.      ~5 mins

Written in the wake of graphic media coverage of two horrifying stories from the US-Mexico border, this piece forces us to confront our complicity in these crimes. Time and time again, our ancestors have not prevented atrocity because it was not "their own" issue to be solved – will we continue the cycle?     ~3 mins

CHORAL // SSA+

Devotee 

Selected and performed by Ithaca Women's Works

LISTEN | READ | PURCHASE *Devotee also requires a Carnatic vocalist; please contact Shruthi with questions

Palm to Palm 

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Inspired by the belief that two distinct religions and musics can come together, Devotee sets two texts- a German Christian plea to God and Krishna's response to a Hindu worshiper- in dialogue. The result is a humble reminder of our global human connection.        ~5 mins

"Love is passed from palm to palm." Poet Anna Leader writes of the connection among women, giving voice to the beautiful and complex experiences we share. This piece is suitable for a community choir of mature voices.              ~3 mins

CHORAL // TTBB+

Sangeetham 

written for the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers, ReMix Emerging Composer Program

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It takes tremendous courage to sing— for many reasons, it is the most exposed way of making music. But in this vulnerability, there is strength. After our conversation on this topic, Dr. B.M. Sundaram penned this text in a single instance. The setting of his words was thus born as a celebration of the power of "Sangeetham" - music. 4-5 mins

 

ORCHESTRA

Son of Pandu 

for string orchestra

winner of the Composers Guild of New Jersey Award and the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra Student Composer Commission Competition   

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Searching for Sanctuary 

for chamber orchestra

written for Princeton University's chamber orchestra course & Maestro Michael Pratt 

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Polite Society 

for full orchestra

winner of the Duluth Symphony Superior Orchestra Young Composer Competition

written for Princeton University's Sinfonia Orchestra & Maestro Ruth Ochs

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Nostalgia 

for chamber orchestra

*This piece has not been premiered. Contact Shruthi Rajasekar if interested

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Son of Pandu is all about Arjuna, the third (of five) sons and the hero of the Mahabharatha. Arjuna is usually revered for his incredible skill as an archer, but he also meditates regularly and ponders duty, the central tenet of Hinduism. Exciting and thoughtful, this piece incorporates Indian elements seamlessly into a Western framework.                                        ~8 mins

The score is marked with the following words: Desolate, Redemption, and Yearning. The first two indicate each half of the piece. But the cumulative experience is one of trying (yearning) to recover. It's serious, with different shades of light, and it requires some extended techniques.            ~10 mins

Polite Society is a conversational exchange between an Indian-inspired motive and a rich traditionally-Western dance. They work best together when they are honest and respectful. Polite Society, then, is both civil debate and celebration... necessary in these times.                      5-6 mins

Nostalgia traces the eponymous word's path through time. Originally thought of as a mental illness, 'nostalgia' eventually became associated with  reminiscing. The piece consequently begins in a Baroque-inspired realm before transforming into a celebration of the past.  ~6 mins

 

 

CHAMBER (3+)

Goddess 

for ten horns

commissioned by Nivanthi Karunaratne; premiere conducted by Gloria Yin     

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Der Hexenmeister 

for soprano, two violins, piano

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Morning Dew 

for bass clarinet, marimba, vibes, piano and sometimes veena

commissioned by the Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble 

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After brilliant and torrential "Summer Rains" (by the composer's mother) in the night, Morning Dew is the delicate dance of creatures and life emerging in the opening of a new day.                              ~6 mins

Written in response to György Ligeti's Der Zauberlehrling,  this composition uses Goethe's original text to explore the aging teacher, whose mastery is characterized by skill, beauty, and peace.  ~10 mins

The inspiration behind Goddess was two-fold: it features an excerpt of the raga Saraswati, who is the goddess of music and knowledge. The piece also honors the marvelous female musicians who first brought it to life.                                             3-4 mins

 

SOLO & DUO

 

Ost 

for clarinet in g (and indian drone)

written for Dov Goldberg in the Psappha Compose For... Scheme    

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the forgotten monologue 

for solo voice

commissioned by the Contemporary Undercurrent of Song Project & Alexandra Porter    

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Audava Thillana 

for two pianos

written for the Princeton Pianists Ensemble with Gloria Yin

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Dagian à deux 

for two violins

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In Old English, dagian means "to dawn". The inspiration behind the piece was this image: two instrumentalists traveling over the horizon with the sun in tow. They glide as sisters; distinct creatures who share spirit and breath.                                                           ~5 mins

the forgotten monologue sets a highly personal story of a miscarriage experience and the narrator's road to rebuilding herself.        ~5 mins

Written for two pianos with the estimable Gloria Yin, Audava Thillana ("5

rhythmic piece") explores 5-note ragas in an exciting 5-beat cycle. ~4 mins                                                                                                   

Ost, written for the Greek Klarino (Clarinet in G) and Indian drone, explores questions of “otherness” in our understanding of “Eastern”. Ost plays with this identity, challenges it, and ultimately blurs the distinction between "other" and "self" to find its own voice.                                                                5-6 mins

 

ART SONG

Three Songs from Athena 

for voice (soprano or mezzo-soprano) & piano

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Inspired by a woman's "coming-of-age", these three poems from poet Athena Kildegaard were penned at the request of the composer, who wanted to honor the important influences as she began her adult life: the maternal figures, the paternal figures, and the friends who "carry her" always.       ~7-8 mins

OPERA

The Letter 

musicians: two sopranos or mezzo-sopranos, piano

actors: one "man", one "woman"

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The Letter is an intriguing single scene in which the faces are voiceless and the voices are faceless. Each entity is not without its own personality and set of loyalties, however. On the surface, a "woman" receives a letter from a "man" in which he proclaims his adulation and adoration... words that she has not asked for. The seemingly universal nature of this nameless letter is underscored by its text (excerpts of poetry by famous men) but complicated by the layers of  characters on stage, revealing the performative nature of every reality.                                                                  ~8 mins

 
 

FILM & THEATER

 

   Original music for A Puppet Story with Orpheus Films 

written and directed by Samuel Sebastian Cox

    Original music for Letters and Dreams, a play about Anna Akhmatova and Maria Tsvetaeva 

written by Fiona Bell and directed by Jhor van der Horst

Shruthi Sings (selections)

Shruthi Rajasekar

2018

Shruthi Rajasekar

2014

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