Via Ted

Nov. 22nd, 2011 02:30 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
By way of [livejournal.com profile] tedgill, a member of the ensemble:

Gamelan Pacifica will be performing both traditional and new gamelan music this
Saturday, December 3rd, at 8:00 PM in the PONCHO auditorium at Kerry hall of Cornish College of the Arts. We will be hosting Peni Candrarini, an amazing Indonesian composer, vocalist, and musician. For more information click on the link: http://www.cornish.edu/musicseries/event/gamelan_pacifica/
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Music by Leonardo)
It was a fantastic day for a concert. The weather was partly cloudy but bright, though it was quite chilly. The drive down to Seattle wasn't bad, aside from a short stretch between a bit north of Northgate and the University District exits.

Squat was good to me, and I found parking right near the Asian Art Museum. Mom called as I was getting off the freeway, so I called her back before I went inside. We talked briefly, and I talked with my brother for about 15 minutes about his plans and what he's going to be doing. He figures it might be about a day and a half from where he is to Colorado Springs, though he'll allow more time in case of bad weather. Apparently there's a good bit of snow between there and there, if you will.

Upon entering the museum, I found myself a seat. Things were still in setup, with chairs being hauled out and set out for people to use. I grabbed a chair and set myself down behind the bonangs, near the kethuk, kempyag, kenong set; [livejournal.com profile] tedgill played these instruments throughout the concert today. I saw [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams and [livejournal.com profile] alexwilliams, though they were seated in a different part of the room than I was. Before things got started, I also saw [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx and his roommate, who had never been to a gamelan performance before.

The area in the museum where the gamelan was set up is a large court area, the Fuller Garden Court, open to the main doors of the museum, but surrounded by walls separating it from the galleries on either side. There is a translucent ceiling allowing filtered ambient light into the area, and the floor is paved with stone. It's a very bright, sharp space, acoustically, and proved to be a superlative venue for the gamelan itself, though the vocalists performing in one of the pieces, even with amplification, did have to fight the space to be heard well. Had the concert been purely instrumental, it would have been pretty much the perfect venue.

The museum itself has a very art deco style. I've always enjoyed that aspect of it very much. This, and the Indian sculpture in the court that surrounded us, only added to my enjoyment of the performance. Gamelan Pacifica recorded their piece "Trance Gong" in that space some years back. By the time the concert started, the court was, quite literally, standing room only.

Because of the size and the acoustics of the space, Jarrad Powell chose a selection of pieces in the gendeng bonang mode, emphasizing particular instruments suited to the space. The opening piece was a traditional composition, "Babar Layar." (I think I've written it down correction. [livejournal.com profile] tedgill can correct me if I'm wrong.)

The next three pieces were modern compositions, the first by Lou Harrison. Gamelan Pacifica recently recorded "Scenes from Cavafy: Music for Gamelan," which [livejournal.com profile] tedgill was kind enough to gift me with a copy of last year upon its release. This piece was from another series of works, titled "Philemon and Baucis." The ensemble intends to record this, and several other Lou Harrison pieces this year, from what was said at the concert. This work, I thought, particularly showed off the acoustics of the space, blending gamelan and violin in a striking performance. The resonance of the gongs was particularly fine in this space.

Jarrad Powell composed the next piece played, specifically for this concert and the space, titled "Gendheng Tala - Nourishment."

The fourth piece was by a modern Javanese composer, K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat -- "Ketwang Gendeng Purnama Siddi." This piece featured vocalists and the rebab. I was seated at the far end of the ensemble from the speakers, and so the vocals were slightly distorted from where I sat, but it still sounded pretty good. Jessika Kenney and the other vocalists did a fine job up against the challenges of the space.

The final piece, much shorter, was Lancaran bubaran Kembang Pacar, more or less used as a recessional for the audience to depart if they wished during the piece. Most stayed. I waited long enough to say hi to Ted again and ask him for the titles of the pieces performed, but he had to break down and that was going to take ages. Bidding him and the others a fond farewell -- Brandy and Alex had to catch a ferry and [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx and his roomie were off to chill elsewhere -- I headed down to Travelers to grab a light early dinner.

Allen is making some really fantastic barley-mushroom momos this month in honor of Losar, the Tibetan new year. The food was excellent, I got to talk for a little bit with Leon, and traffic was reasonably calm on the way home from Seattle.

For those interested in further Gamelan Pacifica performances, this is from their website:

SATURDAY, APRIL 9, 2011, 8 PM - PONCHO Concert Hall; Gamelan Pacifica presents Gamelan Gadhon, soft-style music from the classical repertoire of Central Java, with special guest KI MIDIYANTO, renowned Javanese musician and dalang. Gamelan Gadhon is an ensemble consisting of the soft-style instruments of the Central Javanese gamelan. Instruments inclulde rebab, gender, gender panerus, voice, slenthem, suling, siter, gong, kempul, kenong, kethuk, and kendhang. The music performed by this ensemble is among the most refined and exquisite chamber music in the world. Gamelan Pacifica will perform pieces from the classical repertoire of Central Java.

SUNDAY, April 26, 2011, 7:30 PM - Meany Hall, University of Washington. Gamelan Pacifica performs with renowned dancer Didik Nini Thowok two classics of Javanese court dance, Golek Ayun-Ayun and Gambyong Pangkur - also featuring special guest drummer Heri Purwanto.

I saw Didik Nini Thowok perform with them a few years ago and it was a wonderful experience. I'd definitely encourage you to go if you're local and you're able.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Tea (Breakfast) by Robertson Davies)
Today was mostly dealing with laundry (way too much to deal with in one day) and I spent a little time at the druid meetup at the AFK tavern today. We talked about where we should meet and when. Friday night at 7pm anywhere is likely to still be noisy, so it was suggested that maybe we should go for a different evening, and there was talk of a few other venues.

Beyond that, not much today. Tiredness. Busyness. Screwed up billing at the AFK that had to be dealt with before I could leave.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to meet Caera down at Travelers around 5pm for something. Sunday I'm going to see [livejournal.com profile] tedgill and Gamelan Pacifica at the Asian Art Museum at, I think, 3pm, and then Monday it's the CR Schmooze. [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde is coming down Monday afternoon and will be joining us. I need to enquire on the list to remember what the hell we're supposed to be doing and what we were going to be reading. I've been too busy to deal with any of it just yet. That's a project for tomorrow.

Tired Erynn is tired. Maybe I'll try to get some sleep tonight...
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy medievalist)
I got out to the concert down in Seattle, even though I hurt a lot. I got out of the house about 4pm, knowing that traffic would be bad, but I wanted to look for a book and catch something to eat before I went over to St James.

The drive took nearly 90 minutes in the rain. There were moments when it was fairly dangerous, with some places getting an accumulation of water that meant unnerving bits of hydroplaning, so everyone was going very slowly. I saw one accident where several cars were on the side with a cop and an ambulance and a car turned all the way around. Thankfully, none of it was sticking out into the highway.

I did find parking pretty quickly, over by Cal Andersen Park, and walked over to Elliott Bay Books. On my way, I encountered three of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence manifesting their way into the park on their way somewhere. It was a delightful thing to see, I must say.

At Elliott Bay, I was looking for Sharon Astyk's Depletion and Abundance: Life on the New Home Front, which came highly recommended by [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams. Although my life is pretty secure at the moment -- I have a place to live, a reliable income, health care, and access to food and more than I need in terms of pleasant things in life -- the world is changing in some pretty scary ways, from peak oil problems to climate shifts to perpetual warfare. I want to be able to deal with the changes as they come along, even if I have no intention of moving to some rural spot and taking up farming. There are things that can be done to change, and I've been doing some of them, including working on debt reduction and simplifying. New ideas, however, are always a good thing.

I looked for the book in the Environment section, where I expected to find it, but there was no sign of it there. I asked at the info desk and was told that they have a Self Sufficiency section, which was where I would find the volume in question. I read a bit of it while I had a little dinner at the cafe in the bookstore. Vegetarian chili, a slice of chocolate-hazelnut torte, and a cup of genmaicha were just the thing for a wet, chilly night. At the next table, some folks were playing Settlers of Catan, while several other tables were occupied by people writing, as one might expect in a bookstore cafe.

After dinner, I shuffled myself back through the park and to the car to hie myself to St James. I got in early enough to find very close parking, less than a block away. With my season ticket, I got a wonderful front-row seat for the concert. I talked briefly to [livejournal.com profile] tedgill and [livejournal.com profile] alexwilliams while we waited for the house to fill, and it was a full house tonight. Ted gave me a copy of Gamelan Pacifica's new cd, Lou Harrison's Scenes From Cavafy: Music for Gamelan. I haven't had a chance to listen yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. As we talked, I mentioned feeling creaky and Alex said I should wait until I was 63. I mentioned migraines, fibro, and the whole cramping to my toes thing and he admitted that, perhaps, I was already getting my dose. I said that I'd be 50 in March and both of them seemed quite shocked, despite the fact that they've known me for over 20 years. I found that slightly amusing and said that they had to come to my 50th birthday party. They agreed it would be a great thing to do.

The concert itself was, as usual, just lovely. The program was the music of Leonin, Perotin, and a few other compositions, one as late as the 15th century. All of it was French, in either Latin or French, and quite beautifully done. Before the concert began, I was sitting briefly next to one of the women from the choir. She said that she'd been downtown at Nordstrom's earlier with a flashmob of about 500 people performing the Halleluja Chorus from The Messiah this afternoon.

Here's the scene on youtube, recorded by one of the participants:



She said there were people on three floors of the store participating.

Tomorrow, Shinto.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
My friend [livejournal.com profile] tedgill will be playing with Gamelan Pacifica this Saturday. Here's the concert information!

CORNISH PRESENTS
RAHAYU SUPANGGAH AND GAMELAN PACIFICA
Seattle, WA – Cornish College of the Arts and Gamelan Pacifica welcome the acclaimed Indonesian composer and former director of the Indonesian national arts college Rahayu Supanggah for a two-week residency and culminating concert with Gamelan Pacifica at PONCHO Concert Hall on Saturday, April 24th at 8:00 pm celebrating 30 years of Javanese gamelan at Cornish.

Rahayu Supanggah and Gamelan Pacifica
Saturday, April 24, 8 pm
PONCHO Concert Hall
710 East Roy St., Seattle
Tickets: $18 advance, $20 general at the door, $10 students, seniors & alumni
www.cornish.edu/music/series
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang

Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Our friend [livejournal.com profile] yiaya came by today to watch Jai Hanuman with us. I made dinner -- a chicken tagine, some rice with salal berries, and a quick sautee of Chinese broccoli in sesame oil. Very yummy stuffs. We're all a little tired and under the weather. She'd been pretty deeply involved with a Native group this weekend, honoring some of the Grandmothers, then up to Rainbow's place for her equinox ceremony, so our evening was more subdued than usual, but that was okay by everybody.

Earlier today I went and hung out at a picnic table by the lake. It was too close to the road for my tastes -- lots of traffic noise -- but it was nearly 90f out and I didn't have the energy to walk all the way to the park. I did get a little poetry work done today for part of the Brigid series, though. It feels pretty jumbled at the moment and needs a lot of work, but I think some of the images and the phrasing are working for me. This section is on the ritual burial/initiation of the poet. I'm also planning a segment with a dialogue between Brigid and the flamekeeper. My shift is coming up this weekend and I think I'll spend some time in the incubation chamber working on that.

This weekend will also be Concentric Circles, out at the Longhouse in Redmond, where [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and I will be doing an intro to CR workshop as the final session of the evening before the closing ritual. I'm going to need to scrape up funds from somewhere to put gas in the tank or we're not even going to make it out to the site. I've got about a quarter-tank right now and no money that isn't going to the phone bill.

As usual, after an intensive weekend, my ass has been kicked all over hell and gone. I slept last night from about 9pm (went to bed about 8:30) until almost noon today and, while I felt better, I'm still really ragged. I have a lot on my mind due to some of the sessions at the conference, and one thing I'm pondering is doing a small, fine edition of the Brigid series of poems once they're finished as well as publishing them in paperback form. It would be great to get a few illustrations for it, particularly the description of Brigid. Seeing pictures of so many fantastic magical books and grimoires during the presentations was really inspiring and I'd like to create something of the sort in Brigid's honor as well.

I can't describe how excited and honored I was to be a part of the Esoteric Book Conference. Aside from the whole starting at oh-god-30 in the morning (which I was not the only one muttering about), I think it was an exceedingly well-put-together conference. The location was excellent, the crowd was good, and the sessions were engaging and interesting. I met lots of wonderful people and heard some very good music.

The description I posted of the concert from Sunday night doesn't really do justice to Eyvind Kang's viola work. He wasn't just playing the instrument, he was making it sing: bird cries, reed flutes, sighs, and the song of a near-human voice all emanated from beneath his bow. He and Jessika performed several pieces in unison, following one another closely through the tunes and their melismatic subtleties. It was all superlatively done. I can't say enough wonderful stuff about them. Incidentally, Gamelan Pacifica, for whom Jessika sings, is having a performance Friday night and, apparently, Saturday as well. I doubt I will be able to make it due to financial issues, but if you're able, treat yourself to this performance. Eyvind will be joining them as well. It will no doubt be wonderful.

Here's the info about the performance:


Gamelan Pacifica presents Jessika Kenney, vocalist and composer
Featuring new works by Kenney and Lou Harrison

Friday, September 25st, 2009, 8:00pm
The Chapel Performance Space at the Good Shepherd Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., 4th floor (corner of 50th Street in Wallingford)

Presenting new compositions by Jessika Kenney, and including a performance of A Soedjatmoko Set by Lou Harrison featuring Ms. Kenney as vocal soloist.

With gamelan performers: Phil Cali, Cynthia Dillard, Michelle Doiron, Stephen Fandrich, Christine Feagin, Ted Gill, Jessika Kenney, Deena Manis, Stephen Parris, Jarrad Powell, Jesse Snyder, and guest performer, violist Eyvind Kang.

Tickets available at the door ONLY: $5 to $15 dollar sliding scale.


More information can be had at http://www.gamelanpacifica.org/gamelan/

Gamelan

Dec. 7th, 2007 04:36 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (shimmertwist two ravens)
[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht and I went down to Cornish again last night. This time it was gamelan on the agenda. Got some photos here for your perusal. They're only so-so. I took them with my phone and my hands are notoriously shaky anyway.

gamelanbits! )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Yuki_Onna's Book of Dreams)
Tonight I went down to Seattle to help celebrate [livejournal.com profile] brandywilliams and [livejournal.com profile] alexwilliams's 25th anniversary. The party at the Asian Art Museum was wonderful. Nattering and reflections on art, music, and life. )

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