Macquarie University
01whole.pdf (6.97 MB)

Meetings at the table of time: a creative practice enquiry into Carnatic jazz intercultural music

Download (6.97 MB)
posted on 2022-03-28, 02:33 authored by Sandra Janette Evans
Diverse musical, cultural, and aesthetic components converge when musicians from Carnatic and jazz backgrounds collaborate. Improvisation is integral to musical practice in both jazz and Carnatic music. This commonality of process often motivates and guides intercultural collaborations. In the ensuing creative process established guidelines about improvisatory codes, compositional models, instrumental roles, and aesthetics are often challenged and reconstructed. Research about compositional and improvisatory strategies in this area is sparse. This practice-based research aims to advance understandings about Carnatic jazz intercultural music through three creative practice projects and their exegesis.This study is undertaken from my perspective as a Sydney-based composer and saxophonist. The creative practice projects are: ‘Cosmic Waves’, ‘Mantratonic’, and ‘Meetings at the Table of Time’. The outcomes are documented in two CDs of studio recordings, one CD of live performances in India, and a portfolio of scores. I played saxophone, composed most of the music, and directed the performances. Collaboration and study with Carnatic mridangam virtuoso Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani and his ensemble Sruthi Laya, and Carnatic vocalist and sitar player Sarangan Sriranganathan, is central to the creative work. Areas investigated include the application of Carnatic rhythmic and melodic principles in an intercultural context, instrumental roles and orchestration, and improvised musical dialogue.Carnatic jazz intercultural music is created in a dynamic, highly charged field of change. Multiple viewpoints co-exist simultaneously as musicians express connections to their musical, cultural, and personal histories, and responses to new relationships, sounds, and processes. As individual and group knowledge grows, so do choices about the creative use of this knowledge. This study aims to: 1. Identify, generate, and develop effective approaches to intercultural collaboration between jazz musicians and Carnatic musicians and, 2. Produce artistically strong outcomes in and through such collaborations, outcomes that respect and integrate the aesthetic preferences of all the musicians involved -- Abstract.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter 1. Literature review -- Chapter 2. Cosmic waves -- Chapter 3. Mantratonic -- Chapter 4. Meetings at the table of time -- Chapter 5. Conclusion -- Glossary -- Appendices: Appendix One. Related creative practice theory; Appendix Two. Data for comparative analyses of Alapana structure; Appendix Three. Recording information -- Bibliography -- Scores: Cosmic waves; Seven stories of dreams; Meetings at the table of time -- Index of musical examples -- Index of tables.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 215-232 "Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy".

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Adrian McNeil

Additional Supervisor 1

Denis Crowdy


Copyright Sandra Janette Evans 2014. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (xviii, 367 pages) music

Former Identifiers


Usage metrics

    Macquarie University Theses


    Ref. manager