In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

tures or that incorporate structural ideas from various world musics-old or unusual Indonesian forms, Indian tala, English change-ringing, etc. The theatrical pieces include dance and shadow-puppet theatre accompaniments , wherein I have more often had occasion to borrow from traditionalJavanese form or make deliberate reference to the West. Vancouver is such a theatrical piece. It is named for the place of its inspiration (a device used in naming pieces in the American Sacred Harp hymn tradition}-in this case the wonderful First International Gamelan Conference held at Expo '86 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to which my ensemble was invited. This piece is meant to call to mind Americans playingJavanese karauntan, sometimes not getting it quite right and thus inadvertently recreatingjazz. Jazz, an importantAmerican tradition, was one style I did not hear amidst the many experimental American pieces at Expo, and I thought it high time someone explored its possibilities on the gamelan. Vancouver makes several bridges between the irregularJavanese musical form called sampak (used for fights or violent characters in drama) and swing style. Structurally the piece centers around the use of imbal-a traditional gamelan device of interlocking parts in which one set of players plays on-beats and the other, off-beats. This begins regularly as in properJavanese music, then drifts into a swing beat. Two tuning systems are used, with onbeat players using the pelog7-tone scale and off-beat players the 5-tone slendro throughout. -Barbara Benary Barbara Benary is a composer, inslrumentbuilderand ethnomusicologist. WORK IN PROGRESS I Wayan Sadra,Jurusan Karawitan, STSI Surakarta, Kentingan,Jebres, Surakarta, CentralJava, Indonesia 57126. COMPOSER'S STATEMENT Reflections on a First Experience in Electronic Music How can I describe my feelings? When I first saw the high-tech equipment at the Bregman Studio at Dartmouth College, my heart sank. It was as if I were a powerless grain of sand, adrift upon a vast desert. I felt suddenly surrounded by a tornado of all kinds of information, some ofwhich I could understand and some ofwhich I could not comprehend at all. Maybe this was caused by ignorance or by difficulties with the language. Because of this situation, in the early days of visiting the studio, I felt I had entered a bad dream in an imaginary world I did not comprehend. My experience with computer, or electronic, music up until then had been limited to taking instructions from other composers, but without understanding the results or the process -for example, when I worked with Larry Polansky and Pauline Oliveros at Telluride [Composer-to-Composer conference in 1990]. Perhaps this was partly why I had a narrow view of electronic music, thinking of it merely as a sound, like ringing in the ears. But now the situation was very different. Perhaps it was my desire to know more that pushed me to define my own purpose. What was I doing in the studio at Bregman? An inner voice told me that this was an opportunity to learn something that I did not yet understand. With this conviction, I summoned up the courage to record the sound of the suling [small bamboo flute] (one of the traditional instruments I like the best, because it is easy to take anywhere}.John Puterbaugh , after using only a few synthesizer effects like delay and chorus, was able to come up with a recording that reverberated and pulsed and was full ofvariations. This made me happy, because I had not even imagined that the results would be like that. I listened to the recording many times at Larry andJody's house [Larry Polansky and Jody Diamond]. In my imagination I envisioned a mantra or sacred chanting during one section, while another section evoked a complex kotekan [of interlocking parts]. How could I express my excitement-s-one way was to share it with others, with a friend who by chance called from Portland. He asked me what I was doing in Hanover , and I played him the recording over the telephone. Yet behind his admiration was a disturbing question: of what usefulness was my experience in the electronic music studio? It seemed that my friend was prematurely assuming that I would bring my...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 105-106
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.