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Gado-Gado (2005)

for Oboe, Bassoon, Percussion, Harpsichord & Double bass

“Gado-Gado” is the Indonesian term for a famous national dish (various vegetables and hot peanut sauce). But the term is also used to refer to some sort of mixing different things of any origin, or doing various things without any serious target. In such a context, the term does not always have a positive meaning. Sometimes it is supposed to be funny, sometimes even quite pejorative, especially if the reason or target of the mixing is not clear enough.

I came to this title when I was asked to write a piece for those five instruments mentioned above, because I thought it is a rather unusual, if not a very strange combination of instruments. As I have a strong relation to the aura of an instrument, for me this combination represented completely different aesthetical realms (especially the cembalo).

In the beginning I wasn’t sure how I should relate to that request. Nevertheless, I considered it to be a challenge and tried to concentrate on the acoustical impacts of the instruments, on potential combinations, but also on possible oppositions. Finally I felt it could become a real unique “musical dish” which is not anymore a “Gado-Gado” fallen into its parts, but representing a new overall identity, created by such a peculiar combination of instruments and its respective characteristics.