When asked by Nina Assimakopoulos to write a short piece for flute inspired by literature, my attention turned to the many depictions of Krishna playing the flute that one can see by strolling through the streets of my multicultural neighborhood of Jackson Heights in Queens, New York. Murali is the name of Krishna’s flute. In Hindu cosmology and tales, such as those set forth in Robert Calasso’s book Ka, Krishna plays his flute at the first full moon of autumn. It is a very alluring, seductive melody, and it calls to the female cowherds (the gopis), who are all in love with Krishna. At the sound of Krishna’s flute, they come out of their dwellings and dance, surrounding Krishna. The dancing becomes more and more fevered, when suddenly Krishna disappears before their eyes. Soon they once more hear the murali, from a location just beyond the horizon. Is he calling them, or taunting them? The gopis can never decide, but Krishna is always in their hearts. This work is recorded on Capstone Records CPS-8759.
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