Mambo Java

20/1/98 for pelog gamelan & flute

The pelog gamelan which we play on in Glasgow is in a tuning which is fairly close to western pitches, with the 5 being exactly equal to A 440;

1 = D
2 = Eb
3 = F
4 = G# (ish!)
5 = A
6 = Bb

This has allowed me to write several pieces using western instruments; so far we have used flugelhorn, flute, violas, and harmonium.

The idea of a piece fusing Latin grooves & gamelan was suggested to me by one of our group, Peter Kemp. It uses the bonangs to keep up a montuno-style riff while the gongs/slenthem play a bass line;

Bonangs             4.35  .3.6  .3.6  5.4.  4.25  .2.6  .2.6  5.4.
Gongs/slenthem   3) ....  3..7  ....  7..2  ....  2..6  ....  6..3

Over the top of this is a melody on flute & sarons, and a written-out flute solo. The drums play a transcription of a standard conga pattern, with the kethuk taking the cowbell part.


Written for Gamelan Naga Mas, but never performed. (Trivia: I use the midi file of this piece as a ringtone on my phone :)

Duration ~4′