But it was the second half of the concert when a much larger contingent of performers that revealed the composer’s larger fascination with combining more Western-based instrumentation (soprano saxophone, cello, and violin) with the traditional Asian instrumentation. Each of the four later pieces—Philemon and Baukis (from 1992), Cornish Lancaran (1986), Basonto (1966, composed with Notoprojo), and Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan (1981-82)—were wonderful revelations.
German composer Ulrich Krieger’s wonderful playing of the soprano saxophone, as well as the choral chants of the members of the California Institute of Arts Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. But the true masterwork of this concert was the final, full-out combination of Western music
traditions and the Asian instrumentation. Just to watch the vast group of performers rushing back and forth to share the percussional gongs, bowls, drums, and Javanese Gamelans, all combined with the cello playing of Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick and violin contributions of Andrew McIntosh was a musical enchantment that’s very difficult to describe in words. The highly rhythmic patterns of the ancient world melds with Western classicism in a way that truly does describe the concert’s subtitle “Music of the Pacific.”