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Skala-Niskala: Concerto for keyboard
and Balinese gamelan

kbd, Balinese gamelan

Duration: 18 min.


The title of this work is a Balinese phrase which means the seen and unseen world, refering to the duality of existence which is so much a part of Hinduism in Bali. This dualism is represented everywhere in Balinese music -- the pairing of instruments, the existence of two tuning systems, the contrasting dynamics, fast/slow, exciting/refined, etc. It was with this very much in mind that I layered onto this tradition the contrast of the Western keyboard concerto. In particular, I have adapted some Balinese forms and techniques, such as the explosive, fantasia-like kebyar opening, the intricate interlocking kotekan polyrhythms, and the syncopated 5+3 ostinati. These are elements of the "seen" (or heard) world of Balinese music, which are no more important than their counterparts in the unseen world of the spirituality of music.