Gamelan Fever

Gamelan Fever



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

Listen: Sextuor by Thierry Pécou


Colin McPhee

Baleneese Ceremonial Music for two pianos

Thierry Pécou

Sextuor for wind quintet and piano

Claude Vivier

Pulau Dewata for ensemble

John Adams

Hallelujah Junction for two pianos

Number of people

Thierry Pécou piano
Marie Vermeulin piano
Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Nicolas Prost saxophone
Loïc Chevandier bassoon
Alexandre Collard horn

The Ensemble Variances receive support from Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication - Drac Normandie, Région Normandie, Spedidam, Sacem, Ville de Rouen, Odia Normandie, Onda. The Ensemble Variances is member of Fevis, Futurs Composés, Bureau Export and Profedim. It is member of Groupement d'Employeurs Solstice, supported by Région Normandie. Caisse des Dépôts, main sponsor of Ensemble Variances.