Asia Piano Avantgarde - Indonesia

I personally was kind of hoping for more of an overt affinity with Gamelan, but am more than impressed and happy with what is inside this disc - smart, slow, spacious and lovely piano music. - zhao

"Pianist Steffen Schleiermacher specializes in the contemporary repertoire—he has recorded at least 10 CDs of Cage’s piano music—and here he embarks on a journey into Asia. Our Western sense of Indonesian music begins and ends with the gamelan, where the act of composition is traditionally collective rather than individual, but that is a limiting notion: there are composers in Indonesia, same as everywhere else, and the sound of their music is not necessarily location specific. Some of the above composers studied in Europe, with Blacher (in the case of Paul Soegijo) and Dutilleux (in the case of Slamet A. Sjukur), and bring that background to bear on their national roots to produce a unique, often dissonant language. These works are not simple exotica. It seems to me that an Asian sensibility comes through most strongly in the feeling of time suspended; of musical motifs growing organically at their own pace, undisturbed by human concerns. (One gets a similar sense from the piano music of Takemitsu.)" - Phillip Scott

note (from my understanding, please correct me if I'm wrong): although often allowing room for improvisation on the part of the individual players, and indeed sometimes the structures of the pieces are partially determined collectively, a lot of traditional Gamelan music is written by single composers.

Asia Piano Avantgarde / Indonesia - Schleiermacher

1. Klavierstudie by Paul Gutama Soegijo
2. Svara by Slamet Abdul Sjukur
3. A Piece for Piano no 10 by Michael Asmara
4. A Little Piece for Pianoforte by Michael Asmara
5. Kenang by Soe Tjen Marching
6. Yu Taha by Slamet Abdul Sjukur
7. Langendria by Dody Satya Ekagustdiman






bb said...

very nice (low bitrate?).

one of the things that always interests me about sets like this (non-western composers trained in western traditions), is how the music falls in-between ideas and expressions. western training would probably develop any gamelan-ish tendencies into something more formal, niced-up harmonic progression and rhythms with a bow on them.

I find myself coming on really trite phrases (that I won't write) which would place the Western training as "civilization" (intellectual and modern) in opposition to the Indonesian (tribal or ritualistic, obscure and ancient), which seems REALLY shallow - tells me to stop thinking about it. the music is great.

zhao said...

I don't know what the fuck happened with the bitrate on this one. my i(diot)-tunes is always set to atleast 192 - and for special occasions I bump it up...

apologize... will re-up right now.

Anonymous said...

All too often as a person from the Western Hemisphere I only hear classical music that is by fellow westerners.

So thank you for broadening my horizons, and showing me a world of music I may not have heard otherwise.

bb said...

even nicer at 192!

grasp, release said...

Thx for this; Schleiermacher is a treasure of an adventurer as well as wielder of a touch as delicate as it is precise. I think I might supplement this fine post obliquely with a bit of "New Music" (how much cooler would it be if it was "Nü Music", in our very, um, """Western""" sense of Nü Metal? who _is_ Nü Music? Bang on a Can All-Stars? Mark-Anthony Turnage?) from Japan, maybe a collection of flute music from HatArt, performed by Eberhard Blum; a couple things by a favorite of mine, Toshio Hosokawa, including one of the most gorgeous drone records ever (if I might be permitted a ridiculous reduction for once. ahem.) - DEEP SILENCE (I know, the title's a little Windham Hill, dont worry: accordion + sho : you know you in trouble); and hopefully, for contrast, a rare recording or two by insane genius shak master Watazumido Shusi (sic), which is so Nü that apparently he had children carve PVC pipe shakuhachis for him, and routinely destroyed instruments after one performance. Hell yes! And the music is amazing, which is the only detail among these that I know.

zhao said...

and the funny thing is that in the only photos of Schleiermacher I've seen, he positively looks like a homeless drunk. :)

oh Graspy... those sound absolutely amazing...

Beebs said...

Thanks for sharing this.

First of all, I am an Indonesian music lover but been living overseas for years. I need to say this for the base of my arguments below.

After listening to "Asia Piano Avantgarde Indonesia" I think there is a problem with the title. This record is NOT Asia Piano (Indonesia)and the words "Avantgarde Indonesia" sounds too pompous to represent the post modern Indonesia music.

I know Slamet Abdul Sjukur, and I think he is genius. But his works here barely represents the ingenuity and beautiful imagery. It is so contrive that all the memory that I had of seeing him perform in Jakarta (Indonesia) circa 1980 changed.

No, I am not suggesting that there should/will be mixture between traditional instruments (gamelan) with western music. But listening to this records is like to see White Michael Jackson.

No, I am also not suggesting that Western Calssical music is supposed to be only played by western people. I just think that this record is parochially foreign.

In comparisson I like to introduce Vassilis Tsabropoulos especially his works called Akroasis. He's of course a Greek and what so special about his works is that trancends universally yet surprisingly there are plenty of domestic Greek tone throughout.

Thanks for sharing the record.

NM said...

Thanks for this great one. I wasn't aware of this recording.