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Puppet play in Java : string orchestra

by Betty Beath (2009)

Puppet play in Java


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Puppet play in Java : for string orchestra / Betty Beath.

Library shelf no. 784.7/BEA 3 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

Puppet Play in Java was inspired by memories I have of the music of Sunda, West Java and of the street musicians I often heard playing in Bandung and Jogjakarta.  Often these street musicians would sing as they played and sometimes spontaneously move into dance.  I loved these unexpected encounters which were part of the colourful life of Java and I sought to capture some of that relaxed and playful spirit in this work.  Another particular influence was a poem ‘Genesis’ written by the late Javanese poet Subagio Sastrowardoyo (whose work I love).  The poem has to do with the relationship between the puppet maker “who seldom speaks and lives far from the village” and his creation, a puppet “which looks exactly like him with a body, hands and two legs…”  It is my hope that those who perform Puppet Play will, like the street musicians in Java sometimes sing as they play.


Work Details

Year: 2009

Instrumentation: String orchestra.

Duration: 3 min.

Difficulty: Medium — Good standard.

Dedication note: For the 1. Frauen-Kammerorchester von Osterreich

Commission note: Commissioned by Kati MarĂ³thy Ratz, for the 1. Frauen-Kammerorchester von Osterreich


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