Akrodha, meaning ‘freedom from anger’ in Sanskrit, was commissioned for international Percussion soloist Jonny Axelsson and written in 1998. Of this work, composer Volans says, ‘What would appear as a fairly moderate piece for Keyboard is amplified a hundredfold in difficulty and effect when translated into drum music…I had, it turned out, written an unspeakably difficult piece.’
The sheet music includes specific instructions on instrumentation and tonality – ‘A pentatonic or diatonic scale is to be avoided’ – though it is clear that the performer has some leeway to make his own choices of elements to create the sounds.
Kevin Volans is a twentieth century composer and pianist, who was born in South Africa and has had a variety of inspirational experiences, including time spent studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen, association with the New Simplicity movement, research into African music, and many non-musical friendships and influences. Some of his most celebrated work have been his String quartets.