6 percussionists (1989)

- 2 marimbas

  1. -vibraphone

  2. -glockenspeil

  3. -tubular bells

  4. -wood blocks

  5. -claves

  6. -tambourine

  7. -bass drum

  8. -cymbals

  9. -tam tams

Duration: 10 minutes

Sunda  for 6 percussionists was composed in 1989.  The work is based on a rhythmic pattern or pulse which is repeated, as an ostinato, throughout the entire work.  While the music goes through various changes of character and texture, these are unified by the continuous pulse.  As the idea of pulse is in some ways so basic to the nature of percussion instruments, I felt at the time that this was important issue for me to explore in writing a piece for percussion ensemble.

The title of the work refers to the music of Sunda which is the area which forms the western third of the island of Java.  Sundanese music and culture differs in many ways from that in the rest of Java, and while visiting this area in the early 1980’s I was particularly taken by its distinctive and very elegant musical forms and its special type of small gamelan  orchestra.  My piece however, does not try to imitate this music in any way, but was inspired by its elegance and refinement.