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Tham 2 Goh | Wesley Allan Johnson: Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands

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Wesley Allan Johnson: Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands

by Tham 2 Goh

Jom! Join Tham 2 Goh (Tham Horng Kent and Yen-Lin Goh) as they musically taste compositions cooked up by Wesley Johnson, inspired by the multiple cultures and meals of Malaysian cuisine.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 1. Nasi Lemak (Breakfast)
7:49 $0.99
2. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 2. Morning Tea
3:22 $0.99
3. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 3. Nasi Campur (Lunch)
6:01 $0.99
4. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 4. Afternoon Tea
4:01 $0.99
5. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 5. Char Kuey Teow (Dinner)
7:03 $0.99
6. Sedap Cycle for Piano Four-Hands: 6. Roti Canai (Supper)
7:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Jom! Tham 2 Goh provides some tasty, eclectic entertainment inspired by the variety of foods (and the frequency of meals) across Malaysia. In Malaysia, meals can number up to 6: Breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper. Also, Malaysian food has influences from its large Chinese and Indian populations, as well as the overall influence from Europe from its colonial days and the U.S. through modern commercialization.

The music is largely inspired by my interactions with Malaysian food and mixed influences from Malaysia and my own background:
1. Nasi Lemak (breakfast): a spicy dish common eaten for breakfast. When I first saw the dish, I thought the spicy red sauce (sambal) was tomato sauce and served much more than I should have. The resulting pain of the spiciness is reflected through the tone clusters near the beginning, in an atonal rendering of the rhythms of the Malay dance known as a joget. As I slowly learn the right portions to eat it, I reveal a song in more conventional terms largely inspired by the music of the Malay dance known as a zapin. Towards the end, the spiciness returns as I frequently run out drink, reflected by the Caribbean inspired rhythms (what I associate with spiciness) and the return of the tone clusters, culminating in a loud, sigh of relief when I finish the food.

2. Morning Tea. In Malaysia, the "tea" will serve tea in the British sense, but also include non-British items like curry puffs or rice-based cakes. In this movement, I start with a sound similar to Mozart or Haydn and slowly incorporate music inspired by lagu asli ("original music" a local music itself a mix of Malay and outside influences), punctuated at the end by the pianists emulating the rebana by striking the piano body.

3. Nasi Campur (lunch). Nasi campur ("mixed rice") is the most common thing available at lunchtime. It is usually self-served and contains a variety of meats, vegetables, sauces, and drinks. Because of this, I was inspired to create a composition that could be different each time, inspired by the musical dice in the classical era and aleatoric/chance music in the 20th century. This version was chosen by the performers!

4. Afternoon Tea. Similar to Morning tea, it starts out like a European style—in this case, a Bach minuet—and concludes like a joget. To put a twist on the piece, I ended with an "unbalanced" joget in 5/8.

5. Char Kuey Teow (dinner): a noodle dish created by Malaysian Chinese groups. This piece uses the traditional Hokkien opera tune "Cuey Zhaw" as a fantasy. It starts with music inspired by the sheng (Chinese mouth organ), and later shifts through Malaysian gamelan (which uses the same scale as a lot of traditional Chinese music), then to blues and salsa to represent my interaction as an American.

6. Roti Canai (supper): an Indian flatbread very popular in Malaysia as breakfast or a late night meal. The music is heavily inspired by Indian Classical music with improvisation sections, followed by a medium rhythmic section, concluding the entire section with a lively, fast section. There are elements of Malaysian gamelan and the two-note motif found through is inspired by the two gongs of mak yong.

Tham 2 Goh is a duo of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) pianists Tham Horng Kent and Yen-Lin Goh, formed in 2017.

This album was funded by the University Research Grant (GPU/Geran Penyelidikan Universiti) from UPSI.

The music on this album is pieced together from various performances, so it is "live-ish".

~Wesley Allan Johnson



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