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The Five-Flower Story
Balinese Gamelan Instruments
Stream: 4m30s

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The composition of this piece was made possible with a grant from the Honolulu Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts (MOCA) that Gamelan Segara Madu, the Balinese Gamelan ensemble at the University of Hawaii, received in 2011. I was performing as a member of Segara Madu at the time and was one of several composers asked to compose new works for the group.

The composition uses only some of the usual Gamelan instruments: the lowest metal percussion instruments, and the high bamboo flutes. The instruments play musical roles different from those they have in typical Gamelan music, as well: usually, all of these instruments play (variations on) the same musical line; here, they have more westernized roles of accompaniment and melody. The flute part was originally intended for two flutes with interlocking patterns; this version has only one flutist playing a combination of the two lines.

The title is merely poetic. The listener is invited to make up their own story, about whichever five flowers they prefer.

Instrumentation

This work calls for a small subset of a Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar ensemble:
    1 or more Suling
    1 pair of Calung
    1 pair of Jegog
    Kajar

It may be possible to play this music on other gamelans in other tunings. I would love to hear that.