miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2008

"It takes a thief"

(a non-musical note about Rapsodia Nusantara no. 1)

For you who were born after 1980, you won't understand the title. It's the title of my favorite TV series starring Robert Wagner.

Now, so many of you young pianists who are playing my newest piano piece have asked "on which folksong did I base my Rapsodia Nusantara no. 1? Is it Jali-Jali ? Or Kicir-Kicir?" . The answer is : both . And my answer is "no" to the other frequently asked question "Do you use other themes beside those two folk-melodies?"

Now, you can read my previous entry about my choral piece "Jokpiniana" and hopefully it could help you understand my compositional method. You might also like to google "cubism" and see how it works in painting, because that's exactly what I am doing in many of my pieces. Picasso (and other cubist painters) always needed a model for his painting, and then they distorted the model. Well, now you get it, right ? I took those two folksongs, and I mixed them, distorted them, 'make them my own' so to say. "Good composers don't borrow, they steal", thus spake the great Stravinsky. I don't know if I am good, but I know that I steal.

So don't worry if you can't really "get" the tunes. You hear them, but you don't hear them. They are there, but they aren't there. I am writing my own music, not folksong arrangements. You can even play games with your colleagues, because sometimes I turn the original folk-tune upside down, and also reverse it : if you play a melody which doesn't really sound like the folksongs above, try to read it from right to left, perhaps you'd recognize it.