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Angklung was completed in Sussex and first performed at the 1974 Edinburgh Festival. It was written for and dedicated to Roger Woodward and described by the composer as follows:
'Angklung is essentially melodic and monodic in character. It was influenced by the ecstatic pure melody of the Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and the soft and infinitely subtle tones of the ancient gamelan (orchestra) of the Javanese Court.
In Java and in Bali there is a very old kind of music for the gamelan angklung, which is tuned to a four-note scale. In this gamelan are found the instruments which are called angklungs. These are made out of bamboo tubes which resonate when shaken. Each instrument is tuned to a single note and its octave (four tubed angklung) or octaves (three tubed angklung). My work for piano also uses only four notes which are delicately coloured by the addition of the same note an octave higher or lower. It is concerned with the tuning of ourselves with others and with the natural world of which we are a part'.
‘Full of hypnotic beauty’
The Guardian (Denis Smalley), 6 September 1974
‘A gentle, rapturous essay in pianissimo shades, after the sound of the bamboo Javanese instrument of the same name.’
The Financial Times (Dominic Gill), 28 September 1974