Gamelan Tango

for Mallet Quartet (2 Vibraphones, 2 Marimbas)

Program Notes:

"Gamelan Tango" is a one-movement composition for 2 vibraphones, 2 marimbas (1 low A marimba and 1 five-octave marimba) written in December 2020.

"I was exposed to tango music and dance from a very young age, always looking at my parents dancing tango in festivals, milongas or usually filming them when they rehearsed at home. In "Gamelan Tango", I attempted to combine two very contrasting music traditions that I love; Indonesian Gamelan music and Argentine/Uruguayan Tango & Milonga music. Having listened to a vast number of CD's of different tango ensembles and orchestras, I realized that the majority of the melodies and motives of classical tango and milongas are incredibly beautiful but at the same time so similar with each other. Thus, I composed a piece, a part of which includes scattered segments of famous tango songs, cliché tango motivic gestures, habanera and Piazzola-style rhythms, and I combined it with gamelan-like figures and harmonies. All these elements are blended together in a sarcastic personal story which unfolds like an obsessive game between nostalgia, meditation, parody and drama."

Commissioned by the University of Toronto Percussion Ensemble.

Premiered March 2021, Walter Hall - University of Toronto Faculty of Music

Dedicated to my parents, Sandy and Dimitris and the UofT Percussion Ensemble performers, Joyce To, Jasmine Tsui, Tim Roth and Tyler Cunningham.

Circa 8'