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Lou Harrison: La Koro Sutro; Suite for Violin with Gamelan / Gabriela Diaz, violin; BMOP

Album Summary

>Harrison, Lou : Suite for Violin and American Gamelan (collab. with Richard Dee)
>Harrison, Lou : La Koro Sutro, for chorus, percussion, harp, organ & American Gamelan (also arr. for chorus & orches
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

BMOP/sound presents two strikingly original works by iconic composer Lou Harrison in its latest release, made possible through a dedicated confluence of musicality, research, and construction. The CD features BMOP's very own "American Gamelan" set, one of only four in the world, a collection of invented, found, and adapted percussion instruments that brings a warm radiance to Harrison's unique musical vision. Gil Rose leads the BMOP percussion section and brilliant violinist Gabriela Diaz in the Suite for Violin with American Gamelan, and welcomes the Providence Singers in the transcendental, Buddhist-inspired La Koro Sutro.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
Lou Harrison's suite for violin with American gamelan was composed in 1974 in collaboration with friend and former student Richard Dee (b. 1936) and was built around a Gamelan- style ensemble created by Harrison's designer and life partner William Colvig. Colvig's "gamelan" is "a large ensemble of pitched percussion" (6 pitched percussion keyboards, oxygen tanks, triangles, bells, gongs, trash cans, and a bass drum to keep time) built to approximate the sound of the Balinese equivalent. Coupled with the standard European violin, the effect is beautiful and enthralling. In five short movements, set in exotic modes (often simply pentatonic) with sweet melodies and rhythmic intricacy, the work is filled with invention and, as usual with Harrison, heart. It ends with a gamelan chaconne. La Koro Sutro (1971), for chorus, is a setting of an Esperanto translation of Buddhist texts for American Gamelan, percussion, organ, and chorus. The music is pentatonic in various forms. The choral writing is either unison or in neo-medieval style. The philosophy of the void is the prominent topic. These are essentially chants and meditations, their distance created through both language and virtual geography.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Gabriela Díaz (violin); Providence Singers; Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose; Loren Jakey (violin); Aaron Trant, William Manley , Robert Schultz, Craig McNutt, Mike Williams , Nicholas Tolle (percussion).

Recording information: Mechanics Hall, Worcester, MA (11/17/2009).



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Works Details

>Harrison, Lou : Suite for Violin and American Gamelan (collab. with Richard Dee)
  • Performers: Gabriela Diaz (Violin); Lou Harrison
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Ensemble: Boston Modern Orchestra Project
  • Running Time: 24 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1973-1974

>Harrison, Lou : La Koro Sutro, for chorus, percussion, harp, organ & American Gamelan (also arr. for chorus & orches
  • Performers: Judy Couture (Harp); Lou Harrison; Linda Osborn (Organ)
  • Conductor: Gil Rose
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: ?/?1970-10/1971