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Gamelan Pacifica | Nourishment

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World: Gamelan Classical: New Music Ensemble Moods: Type: Acoustic
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by Gamelan Pacifica

This inventive and dynamic ensemble from Seattle performs contemporary music for gamelan. Works by Stephen Fandrich, Philip Glass, Lou Harrison, Jessika Kenney, Jarrad Powell and Al. Suwardi; with vocals (Kenney and Fandrich) and cello & violin (Harrison)
Genre: World: Gamelan
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Gendhing Tala Entangled
5:43 $0.99
2. Gendhing Sesegan
5:25 $0.99
3. Ketawang Harmonic
8:20 $0.99
4. Gendhing Tala Nourishment
12:47 $0.99
5. Ainahom
9:46 $0.99
6. Opening
6:36 $0.99
7. Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Javanese Gamelan, Movement 1: Ladrang Epikuros (feat. Jennifer Caine & Sally Singer)
9:30 $0.99
8. Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Javanese Gamelan, Movement 2: Stampede (feat. Jennifer Caine & Sally Singer)
8:26 $0.99
9. Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Javanese Gamelan, Movement 3: Gendhing Hephaestus (feat. Sally Singer & Jennifer Caine)
7:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gendhing Tala ENTANGLED
by Jarrad Powell

The term gendhing tala is used to indicate a composition based on an additive rhythmic cycle not normally found in Javanese gamelan music. The intent is to explore additive rhythms that produce non-traditional melodic phrase lengths while preserving two-beat and four-beat groupings (gatra) that allow for the application of normal garapan (elaboration) techniques. - J. Powell

Gendhing Sesegan
by Al. Suwardi

Al. Suwardi is one of the leading gamelan composers in Central Java. He is a gamelan player (both of traditional and contemporary music), gamelan tuner and restorer, and experimental instrument maker. This piece combines features
of traditional playing, such as the use of an interlocking style known as imbal, with contemporary notions about form and dynamics.

Ketawang Harmonic
by Stephen Fandrich
for Just Intoned Gamelan and Di-phonic voices

Video footage revealed the epiglottis of my throat looking and behaving like an entranced cobra, erect and caught in an elliptical sway. Di-phonic singing, as I had learned, at the banks of rivers and creaks while trekking across the Canadian Rockies, was just captured on film, from the inside of my throat. "That's not normal" said the voice from the other end of the camera.
Di-phonic singing requires a technique that gives a vocalist the ability to resonate two distinct tones simultaneously. Gamelan and di-phonic singing almost have a history together via the geng gong, a Balinese mouth harp made of bamboo. A buzzing geng gong reed, like all oscillating things in the cosmos, manifests a palette of many musical tones simultaneously. Geng gong players have the special ability to resonate individual tones, in clear staccato bursts, from this sonic palette. These tones called harmonics are executed by multiple players using sychronized rhythms to create astonishing, very fast and high pitched melodies. The buzzing sound source, for Ketawang Harmonic, is in the throat riding similar musical principles.
- S. Fandrich

by Jessika Kenney
text by Muhyiddin Ibn Al-Arabi (Arabic, 12th c.) from his Tarjuman Al-Ashwagh (The Translation
of Desires) Translation by R.A. Nicholson, published in 1911.

1. The loved ones of my heart, where are they? Say, by
God, where are they?
2. As thou sawest their apparition, wilt thou show to me
their reality?
3. How long, how long was I seeking them! and how often
did I beg to be united with them,
4. Until I had no fear of being parted from them, and yet
I feared to be amongst them.
5. Perchance my happy star will hinder their going afar
from me,
6. That mine eye may be blest with them, and that I may
not ask, ' Where are they? '

"Ainahom" was inspired by reading Ibn Arabi’s poetry and by the idea of applying the Javanese technique of poly-modal melodic juxtaposition known as “miring” or “slantedness” to situate the maqam of Saba in the laras (scale) of pelog. The subject of the poem, “Where are they?” is reflected in the sense of place or atmosphere, a kind of sensitivity of localization, which both the maqam and pathet-based traditions evoke. Perhaps this place is an internal station where the visage of the beloved might appear in the form of a sound. - J. Kenney

by Philip Glass

Gamelan Pacifica has a history of making arrangements of certain notable pieces for our gamelan in Just intonation. These have included Debussy’s "Pagodes" and John Cage’s "In a Landscape." Add to the collection this piece by Philip Glass, arranged by Stephen Fandrich. "Opening," originally a solo piano piece, is quite literally the opening track of Glassworks, a six-movement piece recorded in the studio by the Philip Glass Ensemble in 1982. Progressing from his early work, this recording marks the beginning of his "middle period.” This arrangement of "Opening" filters the original piano piece through the complex ensemble textures of gamelan.

Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Javanese Gamelan
by Lou Harrison

When Harrison was asked to write a piece for the Mirecourt Trio in 1981 he discovered that he did not have a piano trio in his head. Instead, he took inspiration from a work he was writing for gamelan at the time, "Scenes from Cavafy," and proposed a work for violin, cello and gamelan. The Double Concerto is in three movements. The first and third movements use the full gamelan, while the middle movement uses only the drums and gong. He first completed the two outer movements, then sought a kind of vigorous change for the middle movement. Harrison always delighted in writing estampie as a form, so that interest led to the virtuosic “Stampede” of the middle movement. In this movement he uses an eight-note mode, providing variety from the pitches used in the other two movements. Harrison’s work combining western instruments with gamelan produced some of his most memorable works, including "Philemon and Baukis" for violin and gamelan, "Threnody for Carlos Chavez" for viola and gamelan, and this Double Concerto, among others.



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