Now that I have to provide program notes to my "Drupadi" cycle, I'll continue with the third and last piece of my Drupadi trilogy. Last piece, right, but it was the first I wrote concerning this fascinating goddess. "The Humiliation of D" was written for the "Pianississimo" concert celebrating the New Year 2009. The idea is to feature multiple pianos and pianists, so my "Schumann's Psychosis" for 3 pianos-12 hands was also premiered there. The idea --and financial support for their commission-- came, naturally from the House of Piano in Jakarta that is also the sole representative of Steinway and Sons in Indonesia. And we are planning to do a similar (but with MORE pianos on stage!) event for the Jakarta New Year Concert 2011 with a new piece for multiple (we haven't decided how many) piano(ist)s.
"The Humiliation of D" was composed to be choreographed by Chendra Panatan. The story, taken from the Mahabharata epic originated from India but then adapted and became deeply rooted in the Javanese culture, goes around D's oldest husband Yudhistira who had lost everything during a gamble , and the only "thing" left to be gambled was his wife. And yes, you guessed it correctly : he lost this last game. So his enemy (who were in fact his cousins) took D and tried to strip her clothes off. But the gods took pity on her, and made the miracle that her clothes would be endless, even if it was pulled and pulled and pulled, and D turned around and around and around. A nice visual and aural idea, eh? A minimalistic idea with a maximalistic & spectacular effect !