Tanpura (Racheal Cogan 2014)

Paetzold Contrabass (by Herbert Paetzold), Kung Bass Recorder (designed and built by Geri Bollinger), Ganassi in G and C ( by Michael Grinter), Futujara ( by Vladiswar Nadishana),

Bells, Gongs, Skiddaw Stones, Tubular Bells (from soniccouture).


I have always loved the resonance of the tanpura and jealously adored the overlapping resonance of this plucked string, drone type instrument.

I was aiming for the same feeling of resonance and notes overlapping on recorders – like a large organ, but with the sounds coming from different places and each with their own unique tone, length, and shape from the minds of each individual player.

With that in mind,  I began shaping this meditative piece with each note played into a different track, overlapping the one before to create long phrases made up of different players working together to make a cohesive, integrated whole. Even though it’s just myself playing each track, as I created this piece I envisioned many players coming together to make up a moment of resonant space and sound. As I worked, this music felt to me like a form of falling deeper and deeper into an ocean.

Listen with a good set of headphones in a quiet space.

The image is a painting from a very dear friend who is an incredible and dedicated artist – Mitch Lang. I have adored both her and her art for at least 25 years now. The world is a richer and more generous place for her being in it.

Australian Waters by Mitch Lang
Australian Waters
by Mitch Lang

 Mitch’s image is both a reflection on living by the sea and the current Australian Government’s long term and increasingly callous and inhumane treatment of refugees seeking asylum by boat in Australia.

Thank you to Violaine Corradi for always encouraging me to go yet further and to Andrew for always listening.


12 thoughts on “Tanpura

  1. Reminiscent of both pipe organ and tanpura, but much richer because each tone is voiced with separate human breaths. Very beautiful. Lovely art as well.


    1. Gil, I am so happy that you like this!
      Thank you.

  3. Love it Racheal. Well done.

  4. Awesome. Andrew introduced me to your blog … we like to ‘kill’ each other doing 1 mile run repeats in Crescent Heights! 🙂 Look forward to meeting you.

    1. Thanks for listening! (And for not really killing Andrew 🙂 ).

  5. Beautiful. I am mourning the passing of a friend. I saw you in a post of a friend of mine Allen Baekeland and wondered what sort of music you made. The resonance is powerful and helping me consolidate all my memories of my friend so I don’t forget.

    1. Thank you so much for listening and for your lovely comment.

  6. Based on the title I was expecting something Indian sounding, but it was more like Native American. Very cool though.

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