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more formal, built mostly ofJavanesestyle material with the addition of improvised Western instruments in one section. He taught us this piece from cypher notation on a chalkboard, a common device in contemporary Indonesian conservatory teaching. The fact that it was in chalk implies something transitory about the nature of notation. His final notation on paper was provided only after we had basically learned the piece. In naming the piece he explained that Paragraph denotes a section, as in a paragraph of an essay, the essay being our ongoing musical interaction. I also was left with the impression that Supanggah's compositions are not made as statements of individual innovation but as realizations of a larger, evolving process. Some of the non-classicallyJavanese sound elements he uses have been used in other pieces by composers in his touring group New Music Indonesia, such as sweeping-broom sounds,juxtaposed slendro and pelogtunings, juxtaposed instruments of different tunings and traditions. In the American avantgarde we are used to having sound ideasjealously guarded as individual trademarks, almost as personal property ; Supanggah is not bothered by any of this. It is as if he seeks not the New Idea, but rather the new synthesis that occurs out of his creative interaction with his American performers and current situation. There was a final public product: our concert on 20 November 1991 that brought a formal end to Supanggah 's residency and provided the audio and video documentation of the pieces. What the documentation cannot measure, however, is the process -that personal sharing experience of the residency and the development of the pieces. We gamelan . members warmly remember and value these aspects equally with, if not even more than, the public product. -Barbara Benary CONCERTO FOR PIANO WITH JAVANESE GAMELAN Lou Harrison, 7121 Viewpoint Rd., Aptos, CA 95003, U.S.A. COMPOSER'S STATEMENT Certainly among the instrumental combinations ofgamelan with 'Western ' instruments, the gamelan with piano is an obvious one. The piano, of course, can be tuned in any way wanted and certainly may be tuned to accord with any gamelan tuning. Also, piano figuration can accord with gamelan figuration, at least up to a point. My friend Belle Bulwinkle was agreeable to the idea of my writing a concerto for her, and, since my 70th birthday party was soon to be celebrated at Mills College (Oakland, California), I took the occasion to compose it. It was first performed, at Mills, by Bulwinkle and the Mills Gamelan (directed byJody Diamond). Later that year it was performed at the Cabrillo Music Festival at Santa Cruz, California, with the same people playing. The tuning of the piano looks odd to the seasoned gamelan buff because the pelogsection of many gamelan tends to stay around the Dminor range with the A often not too far from one of the A's of the West. (That would be pitch 5 of pelog). In order to accommodate both tuning schemes or systems on the keyboard, it became necessary to re-order the pitches, and it turned out that the pelogis notated in roughly D-flat, and the slendro is notated in D-major. The note C on the keyboard was not needed, and so I simply left it out. In the Gamelan Si Betty [l] and many other recent gamelan, tumbuk (the place where things come together) is on pitch 6 in both tuning systems. The five pitches of the slendro and the seven pitches of pelogonly add up to eleven; this explains the missing note C. Some of the pitches in the tuning lower the piano pitches as much as a minor third. I did not object to this at all because, down to a certain level, strings sound warmer, richer and more resonant when lowered than when raised. I found that my concerto-writing for the piano took on almost at once an oddly classical quality (reminiscent of Haydn and Schubert). I wondered about that until I realized that since at least in the outer movements, I w~s observing standardJavanese classical form ideas, there was a natural reflection of that classicism in my keyboard approach as well. In short,Javanese classicism seems to have attracted a similar classicism...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-4812
Print ISSN
0961-1215
Pages
p. 109
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-06
Open Access
No
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