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Taro (1987)

for two pianos, percussion, bass clarinet and flute/piccolo

Taro is based on a melody, similar to a cantus firmus, or in Indonesian „pokok gending.“ This melody is presented in counterpoint with a rhythmic texture and structuralised by a series of accents. Furthermore, Taro is characterized by various ‚minimalistic’ interactions between the musicians, for example the playing in unison of the two pianists, Actually most of the piano part could be played by a single person, but if this were the case the compositional idea and its intended expression would be lost. Another interaction exists between the percussionist and the pianists: during certain phrases the percussionist must coordinate his part according to the timing of the pianists, while during long accentuated notes in the piano the timing of the percussionist determines the coordination of the pianists. However, these and other principles of interaction are not to be understood as a result of my practical experience with Balinese and Sundanese gamelan music. Taro should be seen as as an attempt to realize a different concept of music making within the framework of contemporary Western musical culture and language, and not as an imitation of the music of another culture.