Kebyar (excerpt)

Kebyar is the opening piece from Makorkosam Bali (2011), an evening-length work for gamelan and live media that was performed by the 25-member gamelan ensemble Seka Gong Taruna Mekar from the village of Tunjuk, Bali, under the masterful direction of I Made Arnawa. The premiere took place at the Asian Art Museum in May 2011; however we made this recording in the Pura Dalem temple of Tunjuk a few months prior.

Kebyar plays with aspects of scale and metric expansion and contraction. One example: the spaces between kebyar fragmetns in the opening become, in repitition, longer and longer, as if the fabric of the piece were being stretched. This technique, which plays out in various ways throughout the movement, was inspired by the irama shifts of traditional Indonesian music. Here, it is further stretched — stylistically speaking — in the latter half of the piece.