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» GAMELAN SON OF LION: Sonogram (dbl CD)

GAMELAN SON OF LION: Sonogram (dbl CD)
GAMELAN SON OF LION: Sonogram (dbl CD)
Founded in 1976 to play new repertoire by composers Barbara Benary (who also built most of the instruments), Philip Corner and Daniel Goode, Gamelan Son of Lion echoes, but does not replicate, either the sound, or the compositional aesthetic, of traditional gamelan. The two share an interest in percussive transience, variable tuning, richness of timbres and overtones, but after that Son Of Lionís sensibilities are decidedly Western. Here they offer a collection of 19 very different compositions by various hands, mostly excellent. A few to single out: Naked we Stand by David Simons for its exquisite sonorites, Music Box by Jody Kruskal, which also features an eerily deployed quartet of violins and Balinese flutes, Bang on a Tin Can by Laura Liben which adds real tin cans to the gamelan to explicate a 7, 11, 9, 13 pattern of beats, Telling Time by Miguel Frasconi which adds many glass instruments and moves after four hypnotic minutes into a timeless, hallucinogenic zone of pure subjectivity; this track manages to stretch beyond musical exposition altogether, it is a really remarkable achievement. Sections of A Memorial Suite are surprisingly effective, Kakapi, by Lisa Karrer adds Zheng (a Chinese zither), Erhu (Chinese one-string fiddle), bass recorder clarinet, violin and voice, Descarga Elizabeth, by David Demnitz pits claves against metallophones to good effect. And so on. Thereís a lot of excellent material here and itís very well recorded. [On gamelan, more in Probes 17). Time to give it a try maybe? L

Code: INNOVA 718
Price: £18.50