In 2008, I wrote a Sextuor, taking intuitive inspiration from ethnographic recordings of Indonesian Gamelan music. I wanted to attempt to reproduce the vitality that emerges from this music, with its perpetual micro-variations in repetitive patterns.
I use the word “repetitive“ in reference to the music of John Adams, one of the American masters of the genre, as evidenced by Hallelujah Junction, his percussive and jubilant work for two pianos. The colors and structure of this work bring us back to the works of Canadian composer Colin McPhee, whose music reflects his early twentieth-century studies and research of Gamelan. Might Colin McPhee and Gamelan be the ancestors of Adams, Riley or Reich? Although he has not had the same influence on his successors, Claude Vivier, another illustrious Canadian, was also interested in the music of Indonesia. With Pulau Dewata, “The Island of the Gods“, he pays tribute to Bali in a poetic depiction of the people of the island which is very freely inspired by Indonesian melodies and the rhythmic complexity of metallic percussion.
- Thierry pécou