Akshaya TuckerLos Angeles, CA
Akshaya Avril Tucker is a composer, cellist and Odissi dancer, who draws inspiration from the music and dance traditions of South Asia. Recent commissions and projects include works for Johnny Gandelsman, Hindustani vocalist Saili Oak, Robert Howard, Duo Cortona, Englewinds, invoke string quartet, and #GLFCAMGigForCOVID. She holds an M.M. in Composition from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in Music from Brown University. In 2019, she won an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award. She is also a freelance writer and entrepreneur. At present, she ghostwrites, writes blog posts, manages inboxes, and believes in people.
Three Songs for Hindustani Vocalist, Soprano and Sinfonietta (2018)
“Three Songs for Hindustani Vocalist, Soprano and Sinfonietta” (2018) by Akshaya Avril Tucker. Live recording with Hindustani Vocalist Saili Oak, Soprano Suzanne Lis and the Prismatx Ensemble, in Bates Recital Hall (Austin, TX) on March 21, 2018.
II. Geliebte Sakhi: Beloved Friend (German and Hindi texts by Heinrich Heine and Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande).
III. Tarana: Dance (Text based on rhythmic syllables “de re na” and “ta na na”; set in Raag’s Bhimpalas and Desh).
Pallavi – Meditation on Care, for Solo Violin (2019)
Commissioned the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music for Johnny Gandelsman.
Performed here by Johnny Gandelsman in February, 2019, at Boston Conservatory.
Pallavi – Meditation on Care is about recovery. It takes inspiration from a bhajan (devotional song) about the biggest moment of transformation in our lives. The first line of this song roughly translates from the Hindi to, “One day, Mother [Goddess] Kali, we will go together in light.” “Ek din Kali Maa” has been present, always, for my family as we’ve grieved our own dear ones.
The Heart Savors its Fragrance, for Solo Cello (2019)
Commissioned by Robert Howard with support by the Gabriela Lena Frank Creative Academy of Music.
“The Heart Savors its Fragrance” is my musical meditation on the Goddess Nairatmya, the embodiment of the Buddhist philosophical idea of “no self,” from an 8th-c. Tantric song. It describes a lonely, sensuous forest atmosphere, where the Goddess wanders, and the spiritual seeker eventually unites with her. Having grown up in a forest, I wanted to capture some of the spiritual imaginings that can happen in a place that is both so full and so empty.