Soundcolours : a composition for Javanese gamelan and western instruments
The aim of my project is to compose a large work for Javanese Gamelan and
Western Chamber Orchestra in which all the instruments keep their original
tuning. I am interested in the question of combining different tuning system and
the effect of such combined tuning on the whole aesthetic properties of the music.
One of the main research questions is: "how may Javanese Gamelan and Western
instruments fit together? " My curiosity as a composer led me to try out a large
number of exercises. The final score is the combined result of these exercises, the
first performance of soundcolours and the solutions to the problems to unexpected
sounds. My writing generally depends on practical knowledge - the working process
becoming the interlocking activity of theory and practice.
The folio contains the score of the main work, the score of exercises, early versions
and related works, accompanied by four live recordings. There is also an extended
essay in which I critically examine the problems arising from the project, the
aesthetic ideas behind it, and the quality of the outcomes. In order to understand
Gamelan tuning from the perspective of the Western player, I include acoustic
analysis of the tuning of selected Gamelan instruments.