Compositions by Bill Alves

Information about Skali-Niskala -- Concerto for keyboard and Balinese gamelan

Duration: c. 15:00

The title of this work is a Balinese phrase which means the seen and unseen world, refering to the duality of existence which is so much a part of Hinduism in Bali. This dualism is represented everywhere in Balinese music -- the pairing of instruments, the existence of two tuning systems, the contrasting dynamics, fast/slow, exciting/refined, etc. It was with this very much in mind that I layered onto this tradition the contrast of the Western keyboard concerto. In particular, I have adapted some Balinese forms and techniques, such as the explosive, fantasia-like kebyar opening, the intricate interlocking kotekan polyrhythms, and the syncopated 5+3 ostinati. These are elements of the "seen" (or heard) world of Balinese music, which are no more important than their counterparts in the unseen world of the spirituality of music.

Recording: Here is an excerpt from the performance by the CalArts gamelan and Vicki Ray. (mpg format)

Major Performances (performances by Vicki Ray, piano):

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Updated on July 23, 2002 by Bill Alves (