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Bhuwana agung : for Soprano Saxophone and Gamelan ‘Gong Kebyar’ Orchestra

by Andrián Pertout (2008)

Score Sample

View a sample of the score of this work

Audio Sample

Performance by Benny Inot from the CD Rishis and saints

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Rishis and saints


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Rishis and saints / Andrián Pertout.

Library shelf no. CD 2155 [Available for loan]

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Work Overview

'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 (Bhuwana Agung) 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.

Work Details

Year: 2008

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — Professional

Commission note: Commissioned by Julian Burnside.. Commissioned by Julian Burnside.

First performance: by Benny Inot — 25 Jul 09. Loke Yew Hall, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR

Version for Gamelan Gong Kebyar commissioned by Julian Burnside for performance by Manolete Mora and the Hong Kong University Balinese ‘Gamelan Gong Kebyar’ Orchestra.

Version for Gamelan Semar Pegulingan arranged for Manolete Mora and the University of New South Wales Balinese ‘Gamelan Semar Pegulingan’ Orchestra.


Performances of this work

6 Jul 15: Denpasar Arts Centre (Taman Werdhi Budaya), 37th Bali Arts Festival 2015, Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia

8 May 11: Lawrence University Memorial Chapel, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

3 Apr 11: Wriston Art Center Auditorium, Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

25 Jul 09: Loke Yew Hall, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Featuring Benny Inot.

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