Darmstadt 2012: Gamelan Son Of Lion: The Braid Pieces of Barbara Benary and other works
With Barbara Benary, David Demnitz, Daniel Goode, Lisa Karrer, Jody Kruskal, Skip LaPlante, Laura Liben, Larry Simon, David Simons and pianist Lois Anderson.
Barbara Benary: The Braid Pieces, Aural Shoehorning
David Demnitz: Either/Or-Or/Either
Philip Corner: Gamelan Adagio
Daniel Goode: Hear the Sound of Random Numbers
"Between 1974 and 1980, [Benary wrote] a series of Braid pieces for gamelan: Braid Piece, Sleeping Braid, Counter-Braid, Macramé, and others. Pretty, slowly changing, steady in momentum, these are more note-specific, based on a diatonic progression of 14 pitches in alternating intervalsF# B A D C# F# E A G C# B E D G (F#). They involve performers playing the bells of the gamelan in interlocking rhythmic patterns, sometimes proceeding through the pitch-braid at their own pace, sometimes with added free melody, canons, and text. They set the pattern for Benary's music of an underlying static or cyclic structure around which other elements are entwined. In fact, she is one of those composers whose music seems generated by a single archetype, the way Oliveros's music stems from the breath, Xenakis's from noise, Lois Vierk's from the glissando. The braidwith its elements ever reappearing, twining around one another, recurring within orderly processis a good image to keep in mind through all of Benary's music."
Gamelan Son of Lion is a repertory ensemble based in downtown New York specializing in contemporary music written for the instruments of the Javanese gamelan. Having performed continuously since 1976, GSOL now rates among the oldest of American gamelan ensembles. The ensemble was begun by a core group of composers: Barbara Benary, Daniel Goode, and Philip Corner. More than a hundred pieces have been premiered by the ensemble since its inception. Gamelan Son of Lion is organized as a not-for-profit corporation and has been supported in its presentations by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, Arts International and several private foundations. The ensemble performed as guests of the Government of Indonesia at Expo 86 in Vancouver, Canada, and toured Java in 1996, participating in the Jogjakarta Gamelan Festival and the Borobudur Festival. More recent tours have been to New Zealand and Estonia.
Barbara Benary studied the musics of India and Indonesia at Sarah Lawrence College and Wesleyan University. She has performed in the ensembles of Philip Glass, Jon Gibson, Alvin Lucier, Philip Corner and Daniel Goode. She received a Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in 1972 and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1982 and 1993, alongside grants from Meet The Composer and the Jerome Foundation. Benary is a co-founder of Gamelan Son of Lion.
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