Bhuwana agung : for soprano saxophone and Gamelan orchestra
by Andrián Pertout (2008)
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Bhuwana Agung or 'Great World' was commissioned by Julian Burnside QC, and especially composed for Manolete Mora and the Hong Kong University Balinese 'Gamelan Gong Kebyar' Orchestra.
The work not only serves as an exploration of the 'Gamelan Gong Kebyar' genre and the pélog selisir scale, but also as a study of the tuning scheme employed by composer and gamelan tuner Wayan Beratha on the Hong Kong University gamelan instruments. The instrumentation of the 'Gamelan Gong Kebyar' orchestra or ensemble is typically made up of distinct combinations of metallophones, gongs, drums, cymbals, a bowed spiked lute, and bamboo flute, with the participation of around thirty instrumentalists. One of the interesting additional features of Balinese gamelan music is the incorporation of paired tuning in the metallophones, which generate "shimmering acoustical beats called ombak (waves)" - the higher pitch defined as pengisep or "inhaler" and the lower, pengumbang or "exhaler." Three colotomic rhythmic structures have been adopted in the work, which include the following pegongan meters: 16-beat Lelonggoran, 8-beat Bapang, and 8-beat Gilak.
The title has been derived from Hindu cosmology - the notion of Panca Maha Bhuta, or the 'Five Great Elements' - and musically represented via a series of extemporizations based on the five scale tones of the selisir scale.
Instrumentation: Soprano saxophone and Balinese ‘Gamelan Gong Kebyar’ orchestra (Reyong, 4 Kantilan, 4 Pemadé, 2 Ugal, 2 Penyacah, 2 Calung, 2 Jegogan, Klentong, Kempur, Gong Ageng, Kempli, Cengceng, Kendang Lanang, Kendang Wadon).
Duration: 11 min.
Commission note: Commissioned by Julian Burnside.. Commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Manolete Mora and the Hong Kong University Balinese ‘Gamelan Gong Kebyar’ Orchestra.
First performance: by Benny Inot — 25 Jul 09. Loke Yew Hall, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR
- Influenced by: Balinese culture
Performances of this work
25 Jul 09: Loke Yew Hall, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Featuring Benny Inot.
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