Triloka - music for strings and soloists (feat. Mike Block, Rob Thomas, Layth Sidiq)

by Bruno Raberg - Triloka Ensemble



The title “Triloka – Three Realms” refers to the trifold form of the piece. The word Triloka, or trailokya, is found in Hindu and Buddhist texts and refers to three spheres or three worlds. This piece has rhythmic structures from traditional Carnatic (S. Indian) music that are called Mora and Korvai. The “three worlds” could also describe the influences on this recording, which are S. Indian music, jazz improvisation, and the Swedish influenced melodies most prevalent in “August Hymnal”.

The improvised bass introduction to Chandra Soma is my version of the traditional Alap or Alapana used in traditional Indian music. It is a rubato exploration of the melodic properties of the Raga. I am in no way attempting to play a traditional Alap here but rather using the concept to introduce the melodic material used in Chandra Soma.

Chandra Soma lit. “Moon Juice” is based on the “Subhapantuvarali”mode, which is the 45th mode of the 72 modes from the 72 Melakartas, considered the “mother scales” of Carnatic music. The pitches are: D-Eb-F-Ab-A-Bb-C#. All melodies and harmonies are derived from this mode and I particularly explore the two faced aspects of the mode, one based on D as the root the other with Bb as the root. As in Triloka, I use rhythmic structures and cadences from Carnatic music.

Wave Play is a translation from the Swedish word “Vågspel” which has the double meaning “the play of ocean waves” and “risky venture”.

Sojourn literally means “temporary stay”. In this piece I start out deeply inside the diatonic “western” scale but at some point venture into microtonal transformations of the pitch, thus changing the color and mood of the piece. This becomes a venue for violinist Layth Sidiq to explore Arabic sounds in his improvisations. At the end, the piece returns to the original sound and mood.

Trilogy for Strings is all about traveling, moving on and exploring new territories.

In Autumn Hymnal I pay tribute to the end of summer, an afterthought and at the same time an anticipation of fall.

Special thanks: to Mimi Rabson who commissioned and conducted Triloka – Three Realms for the Berklee World Strings and who in some ways got this whole project started: to Eugene Friesen who commissioned Chandra Soma, also for Berklee World Strings: to all the musicians that played my music and improvised so beautifully. To Rob Jaczko for recording and mixing with such expertise and commitment.

A video of the recording of Triloka – Three Realms can be found at: (YouTube - Bruno Raberg - Triloka)


released February 28, 2017

Bruno Raberg acoustic bass and composition, Vicente Espi violin, Carlos Felipe Silva violin, Alliz Espi viola, Marta Roma cello, Nate Sabbath acoustic bass, Charles Overton harp, Mike Block cello, Rob Thomas violin, Layth Sidiq violin, Carlos Felipe Silva violin, Daniel Lay viola, Naseem Alatrash cello



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Bruno Raberg - bassist/composer Boston, Massachusetts

BRUNO RÅBERG is a renowned bass player and composer. Since coming to the US from his native Sweden in 1981, he has made 9 recordings as a leader, about 30 as a sideman.
Some of the distinguished musicians Råberg has performed/recorded with include Chris Cheek, George Garzone, Kenny Werner, Sam Rivers, Donny McCaslin, Bob Moses, Mick Goodrick, Ben Monder, Bruce Barth, Jim Black, Matt Wilson.
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