cello, Cornish College of the Arts, flute, gamelan, Gamelan Pacifica, harpsichord, improvisation, Janet See, Javanese, Jessika Kenney, Linda Tsatsanis, melody, Nathan Whittaker, Schenkman, Seattle, similitude, symmetry, timbre
The word “gamel,” which means “to hammer” in Javanese, is the root word for the fascinating orchestral music known as gamelan. There are a number of surprising similarities between Bach’s music and the Southeast Asian tradition of Javanese Gamelan.
On 8 December 2013 at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts, the renowned gamelan ensemble, Gamelan Pacifica, with vocalist Jessika Kenney and four Baroque music specialists, Linda Tsatsanis (voice), Nathan Whittaker (cello), Janet See (flute), and Byron Schenkman (harpsichord), will juxtapose the two traditions, revealing elements of contact, nearness, similitude, and symmetry, be they of musical features (rhythmic structure, melodic flow, timbral qualities, stylized improvisation) or simply atmospheric feel. In the far background of this, one might sense the elusive “universals” of musical expression.