5lip5ide

Recording

The ‘space gamelan’ part, which appears on CD near the end of the piece;

space_gamelan.mp3 (2’00, 1.3 MB)

20/6/03 for trumpet, clarinet (doubling bass clarinet), piano, contrabass, percussion & space gamelan

Composer’s note

‘The endless variety and sharp individuality of its dramatis personae indicates that wayang reflects the variegation of human life as it is felt by the Javanese. Nevertheless, this teeming multiplicity is ordered by clearly marked dichotomies. There is, for example, the fundamental cleavage between Left and Right, Sepuh and Nem (Old and Young), Kurawa and Pendhawa (the two warring familes in the Mahabharata – JS), at bottom grows out of a sense of the obvious dualities of the Universe: male and female, sun and earth, mountain and sea, night and day, age and youth. All are necessary and complement each other. Day is not day without night, and youth is not youth without age peering over its shoulder.

Benedict R. O’G. Anderson ‘Mythology and Tolerance of the Javanese’ Cornell 1965

And how true that is! Or, as it may be, false. At any rate, I had no real intention to write a piece so clearly inspired by Javanese music and culture. Certainly dichotomies abound here; between the deliberately rough (kasar) half-valve trumpet sounds in the first section and the refined (alus) trumpet playing at the end of the piece, and certainly between the heterphonic gamelanominimalistic textures of the classical ensemble and the electronic sounds of the ‘space gamelan’.

Background

Unperformed companion piece to 4thought. And, there needs to be a note to the note; although true in a sense, please feel free to imagine one’s leg being gently pulled upon encountering a program note containing the phrase ‘heterphonic gamelanominimalistic textures’! And the ‘space gamelan’ is just a cd, which is admittedly a bit of a let down.

Duration ~6’10