Laura Andel

Notes from the Composer

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Laura Andel

Doble Mano

Performed by Taylor Ho Bynum (Cornet), Stephanie Griffin (Viola), Elliott Sharp (Clarinet), Daniel Binelli (Bandoneon), Carl Maguire (Fender Rhodes), Ursel Schlicht (Piano), Ken Filiano (Double Bass), Danny Tunick (Vibraphone & Gamelan Instruments), David Simons (Gamelan Instruments), Laura Andel (Conductor)

For the last few years, I have been working on compositions that focus on the different degrees of nearness between gamelan and non-gamelan instruments. In my interest to explore the intersection of tuning and idioms, I search for ways to generate common spaces for differently tuned instruments and for sound qualities not traditionally found in the same context.

Doble Mano is a 60-minute composition for gamelan instruments, bandoneon, piano, Fender Rhodes, piano, double bass, viola, cornet, clarinets, and vibraphone. In Doble Mano, I wanted to work on the duality of similar and different, coupling instruments that are from similar families but from different geographies and that have distinct musical idioms. I wanted to play with what is really distant, such as coupling a traditional bandoneon tango player from Argentina with gamelan instruments from Indonesia. Doble Mano refers to a two-way street, or anything with opposite directions on one road.

Apsides

Performed by Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet), Carl Maguire (Fender Rhodes), Gamelan Son of Lion (Barbara Benary, Lisa Karrer, Denman Maroney, John Morton, David Simons), Laura Andel (composer & conductor)

Apsides (for Fender Rhodes, cornet, and Gamelan orchestra), is a 30-minute work that balances composition, textural improvisation, and compositional conducting, as well as the use of space and movement.

In Astronomy, apsis is either of two points in the orbit of a planet—the point of greatest distance or the point of least distance from the body around which it revolves. The composition Apsides focuses on the sound quality generated by each apsis. There are multiple apsides within the piece —gamelan ensemble, Rhodes, cornet, and conductor—which intersect at different points and latitudes. The cornet is the center of attraction, and symbolically, it gets closest to or farthest from each point. The cornet orbits in space and plays with the nearness to and contrast with sounds generated by each sonic apsis. From muted landscapes to electrically powered machines, Apsides dwells, evolves, and revolves around distinct sonic zones.

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