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CD COMPANION Notes on the Compositions MEETING A. W. ('Dedek') Sutrisna,Jurusan Karawitan, STSI Surakarta, Kentingan, Jebres, Surakarta, CentralJava, Indonesia 57126. COMPOSER'S STATEMENT I started studying gamelan when I was small. My grandfather was a dhalang (shadow theater master), the father of Mas Bono [B. Subono], also a dhalang , so I knew the sound of gamelan from the beginning of my life. I started studying seriously when I entered SMKI [conservatory high school] in 1976. As soon as I entered SMKI, I became involved in dance music. The compositions that 1 did in high school were often for dance and for my friends' final exams. I also immediately started working on small music compositions. When I entered ASKI [now STSI, college of the arts] I got even more experience, and as it turned out, more opportunity [to compose]. A serious work of music is hard to define. Usually it involves a lengthy process. Of course all my works are always serious, but there are times when I pay more attention to the sense of seriousness. For example, if I work on a piece for 3 months, that would be serious. But if! work on a piece only one or two days or a week, I would not consider that a very serious piece, even though I myself would take it seriously. For something serious I look for material that is truly new, during a long period of thought and preparation . At the moment, my pieces cannot be said to be all that serious, because I use material that already exists, although newly arranged, and I do it for a short amount of time. It's as though I have a personal strategy, a method for creating a new work quickly: I take existing material and rearrange it. This new arrangement can be realized by my group, even though I never write anything down formally, because I usually work with the same group of people. So they know and easily accept my way of working. I [only] write notation to help the musicians remember [a piece], because if they rehearse only once or twice a year, they have to be reminded. Sometimes we forget a piece we have already performed, so the notation helps us remember. If! make an iringan (dance accompaniment ), I usually use a group from ASKI. The membership of this group could be said to be always changing, but because we have the same background , in the final analysis there is not really any difficulty in technique and other matters. We-Pak Sadra, Mas A. L., Mas Bono [and myself] [l]can be said to be the same in certain ways, particularly in our way of incorporating elements ofJavanese traditional music in new arrangements. This is in relation to pure concert music -well, what does pure mean?concert music that is a new creation. If I have to do a piece to be played by another group, that would be hard and would take a long time. My pieces always take into account the ability of the players. How can we have a strategy so they will do what we want? And what we want also has to be appropriate for them [i.e, we can try to make them do what we want, but we must ask them to do what they are capable of]. I can work with both kinds of players, the ones who have [musical] ability and the ones who don't. For the ones who don't, I have a method that takes advantage of their potential. I don't think it's a problem, except that I can be freer with those who have some ability. Americans,judging from the tape [I heard recently] [2], are already extraordinary . I think I would have a strategy that could take their potential into account, too. We could develop traditionalJavanese music until it is of the same quality as classical Western music, like the works of Mozart and Beethoven, with their extraordinary orchestration. Javanese music is still in a [new] stage of development, it still needs to be fixed up here and there. It used to be better established, and the quality of it...


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