February 27, 2011

Colin McPhee-Tabuh-Tabuhan, Symphony No2

a  petit miracle that happened yesterday in my microcosm ,but  I tend to see everything  as  miracles lately....
anyway while I was searching for a recording from Mauritania for my blog,
I unearthed a  cdr with the mysterious title Tabu-Tabuhan,that was brought in by a friend about 3 years ago,  left behind and was forgotten...and I must add here,that serious music is Terra incognita for me
 -see I'm no  "serious" in any way  :) ..
A quick google search revealed Colin McPhee's fascinating but rather tragic story as
his disbelief  in his work along with the rejection he felt from his contemporaries,
led him to alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver and death.
I must confess that I had  never  listened  to these works till some hours ago,never too late though , let's listen
them together in a flac rip for the occasion,and  we can  talk along the way ,whether Tabu-Tabuhan ,one of the first west meets ("the exotic"then ) Bali ,symphonic attempts,if not the first,was a successful one and in what degree.and some questions that arise inevitably: how would you approach a different from yours,civilization?is there a way or a formula, or the only words are understanding and respect?

from the UCLA archive:

It was in 1931 that McPhee first heard recordings of some of then virtually unknown music of the gamelan of Bali, ensembles of tuned gongs, gong chimes, metallophones, cymbals, and drums. Fascinated by the new possibilities of timbre and percussive colors, musical form and instrumental technique, McPhee went to Indonesia; what began an exploratory trip became an extended period of residence in Bali until 1939. McPhee made an extensive survey of the many different types of ensembles throughout the island; his house became a center of musical activity; he encouraged and subsidized children's training in music and dance as well as the maintaining of the older musical traditions.

start with this one
the whole story
and in brief

Esprit orchestra

Colin McPhee- Tabuh-Tabuhan, Symphony No2

1. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": I. Moderato misterioso
2. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": II. Elegy - Lento - Molto Tranquilo
3. Symphony No. 2, "Pastorale": III. Molto energico
4. Concerto: I. Tempo giusto
5. Concerto: II. Lento
6. Concerto: III. Animato
7. Transitions
8. Tabuh-tabuhan: I. Ostinatos: Animato
9. Tabuh-tabuhan: II. Nocturne: Tranquilo
10. Tabuh-tabuhan: III. Finale: Quieto e misterioso
11. Nocturne


a silent film by Colin McPhee

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Nauma, http://otherworldsounds.blogspot.com/2009/07/benjamin-britten-prince-of-pagodas.html
    has a word on Benjamin Britten, who aslso composed influenced by Balinese gamelan music, maybe not as explicitly as Colin but still.