Start Date

10-5-2017 9:00 AM

End Date

10-5-2017 11:00 AM

Subjects

Lou Harrison (1917-2003). Double concerto -- Criticism and interpretation, Cultural fusion, Music -- 20th century -- Social aspects, Composition (Music)

Description

Artists in the twenty-first century face a creative dilemma: styles and traditions from around the world are now available to all, and in the post-colonial era it can become difficult to discern the appropriateness of artistic borrowings. I propose that cultural hybridity, defined as genuine investment in another artistic culture's traditions and respect for its practitioners, can provide an “Ariadne's thread” to guide the interculturally sensitive artist. Lou Harrison's long relationship with the gamelan music (karawitan) of Indonesia provides an enlightening example. From his initial exposure to Asian music all through his decades of intensive study and instrument-building, Harrison's development as a composer of multicultural music demonstrates four aspects of cultural hybridity: curiosity, respect, discipline, and devotion. Harrison's compositions for gamelan and Western instruments show the composer at his most hybrid. This analysis of his Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan and the path leading to its creation aims to delineate the ways in which one particular non-Western tradition can be combined with Western instruments and traditions to create a work of intercultural beauty, respectful to both musical traditions and to the artists who practice them.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/20285

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May 10th, 9:00 AM May 10th, 11:00 AM

Compositional Practice as Expression of Cultural Hybridity in Lou Harrison’s Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan

Artists in the twenty-first century face a creative dilemma: styles and traditions from around the world are now available to all, and in the post-colonial era it can become difficult to discern the appropriateness of artistic borrowings. I propose that cultural hybridity, defined as genuine investment in another artistic culture's traditions and respect for its practitioners, can provide an “Ariadne's thread” to guide the interculturally sensitive artist. Lou Harrison's long relationship with the gamelan music (karawitan) of Indonesia provides an enlightening example. From his initial exposure to Asian music all through his decades of intensive study and instrument-building, Harrison's development as a composer of multicultural music demonstrates four aspects of cultural hybridity: curiosity, respect, discipline, and devotion. Harrison's compositions for gamelan and Western instruments show the composer at his most hybrid. This analysis of his Double Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Javanese Gamelan and the path leading to its creation aims to delineate the ways in which one particular non-Western tradition can be combined with Western instruments and traditions to create a work of intercultural beauty, respectful to both musical traditions and to the artists who practice them.