Program 521: Music for Gamelan
KALW Broadcast Date: June 22, 2018 | Host: Mark Abramson
Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of Bali and Java in Indonesia. It has a rich cultural history within Indonesia that dates back almost two thousand years. It gained recognition in the Western world during the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris and since has inspired countless composers of Western classical music.
Gonténg (Djawa), pengawak solo was recorded in 1928 and is from the first and only commercially-released recordings of Balinese music made prior to World War Two. The aforementioned set of recordings were pivotal in the musical development of the Canadian composer, Colin McPhee, who later traveled to Bali to write his book, Music in Bali. We will hear McPhee’s orchestral work from 1935 Tabuh Tabuhan which was influenced heavily by his experiences in Bali.
Another Westerner who was drawn to the sounds of the gamelan was California’s own Lou Harrison. In his Suite for Violin and American Gamelan he utilizes his own newly created gamelan that he and his partner William Colvig built together in the late 1960’s. The ensemble is modeled on Javanese gamelan, but tuned to just intonation on the note D. The version of Suite for Violin and American Gamelan, heard here on Music from Other Minds, is an exclusive unreleased recording made at the Other Minds Festival 22.
The program concludes with a short work for traditional gamelan titled Bubaran Hudan Mas, which is an ending piece played at the close of a function as the audience departs.
Track Info & Links
Title: Suite for Violin and American Gamelan
Composer: Lou Harrison, Richard Dee
Performers: Shalini Vijayan, violin; William Winant Percussion Group; Nicole Paiement, conductor
Recording Title: Unreleased live recording from Other Minds Festival 22
Record Label: n/a
Catalog Number: n/a