“Sekati”, from Music for the Balinese Shadow Play, Nonesuch H-72307.
This is a piece for what sounds like two (or maybe three) pitched mallet instruments that sound like Western xylophones. It consists of two or three lines that sound independent (or almost independent), but, yet, interact in interesting ways. That is, it sounds almost polyphonic. One of the lines is more melodic, while the other one or two are simpler and play more of a backing role. The tempo is allegro and the lines are continually moving (particularly the foreground line). There is enough repetition in the lines so that the listener feels comfortable, and not lost, but enough evolution and variation in the lines that the piece holds your interest.
I really like this piece a lot. With its polyphony, it sounds baroque. I think Bach would have liked it. Actually, I’m pretty sure he would have liked it. Actually, this reminds me quite a bit of cellular automata (and music generated from cellular automata) in the way complexity arises from simple parts.
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(This was originally published on my leipzig48.com “Dancing about Architecture” blog in 2006.)