Scenes from Cavafy: Music for Gamelan
Label: New World Records
Lou Harrison’s (1917–2003) long-term love affair with the Indonesian gamelan had its roots in a course he took from Henry Cowell in the spring of 1935. As Harrison refined his understanding of traditional gamelan procedures during the 1980s, he began to transfer these compositional ideas to works for Western instruments. At the same time, Harrison continued to compose for the Indonesian ensemble itself, indulging a fascination for Asia that had been part of his life since his youth while simultaneously bringing this fascination into close interaction with his Western musical training. He simply found in gamelan music some of the most beautiful sounds he could imagine and he hastened to add these sounds to his toolbox of compositional resources as an extension of his personal artistic voice. In so doing, he honored the culture that had inspired him, and offered his works as an admiration for its artistic products. This is the world-premiere recording of these three major works in authoritative performances by Gamelan Pacifica, which had a long association with the composer, performing and giving the Northwest premieres of all his major works for gamelan.
Cat. number: NW 80710