Of all the elements, earth is the one with which we have the deepest, most emotional, personal
relationship. This was recognized by our sages who described earth as mother, the nurturer,
the sustainer of life; earth, who held within her womb not only the riches of Nature, but also
her secreds, and tumults; earth, whose very creation was the intense birth of form out of the
formless. So the concept lent itself to varying musical interpretations, ranging from the
dramatic and awe-inspiring to the lyrical and tender.
In the first half, I have used selected passages from the beautiful Hymn to the earth from the
Atharwa Veda, surely a hymn of all mankind, poetically descriptive of man's reverence for
earth. In the section "Earth my Mother", I have chosen Raga Des for its deep sense of
belonging, expressed with great sweetness and poignance. But the earth mother is also the
female principle of fertility; thus, the tribal rhythms of the "Fertility Dance" are evocative
of primeval rites in the worship and propitiation of the earth. "Earthquake" is a description
in sound of terrifying upheaval and elemental rage: the destructive aspect.
The second half is a depiction of earth and tow other elements water and sky (heaven, space).
In the sound of the oboe, we hear the pathos of the arid earth, them the joy when her thirst
is slaked by rainfall, which also quickens her to renewed life. And the sounds of the French
horn and flute recall the majesty of Dyaus, the Vedic god of Heaven, who, according to legend,
is the father of all men, just as Prithvi, the earth, is the mother. The very last track is a
celebration of the elemental mother.
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