Perang Gagal: a Series of Inconclusive Battles

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‘Perang Gagal: a Series of Inconclusive Battles’ was a performance that juxtaposed livecoded ‘gamelan’ music created on the fly in SuperCollider with music played live on real gamelan instruments.

The title refers to a traditional set-piece scene from the Javanese wayang kulit shadow-play repertoire. Taken literally, this scene represents a series of skirmishes between characters from opposing armies, none of whom emerge clearly victorious. Metaphorically it might be taken to represent a transition between youth, as represented by the first pathet nem scene, to the middle age of pathet sångå, while in contemporary styles it is an entertaining crowd pleaser that allows the dhalang puppeteer to show off their skill in manipulating the puppets.

In the context of the performance at ICLC, the title also hints at a number of tensions: between laptop and acoustic instruments, between improvising in code and improvising instrumentally, and between cultural contexts. The piece was devised and performed in collaboration with Professor Mel Mercier of the Irish Word Academy of Music and Dance, drawing on staff and students at that institution for the live gamelan parts.


Original languageEnglish
TypeTest take two
Medium of outputTest take three
PublisherRoyal Conservatoire of Scotland
Place of PublicationUniversity of Limerick
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 6 Feb 2020