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Wantilan (1988, revised 2008)

for Alto flute (also C-flute and piccolo) and Percussion

WANTILAN was composed in 1988. "Wantilan" is the Balinese term for an open performance hall, normally in the middle of a village (or attached to a temple) where various types of performances may take place (music, dance, cock-fighting, political meetings etc.). Concerning this composition, the term has a purely personal and anecdotic character.


During the late 80s and early 90s I was continuously involved in studying and experimenting with formal structures that are quite similar to those in Javanese and Balinese music. It does not mean that WANTILAN is an imitation of a certain Indonesian music. Special relations and dependencies between a basic melody and a rhythmical counterpoint stand in the foreground.

WANTILAN is based on a gong cycle that is repeated eight times (the sixth repetition is of double length while the seventh is only half; the inner proportions are always the same). The melodic basis is a cantus firmus-like melody. The first cycle establishes three levels which, together with the basic melody, appear throughout the following cycles in always changing relations and combinations. All levels are present in each cycle.


In connection with a workshop at the Art Academy STSI in Bandung/West java a second version for Sundanese instruments and 14 players was created. The original version was choreographed by the Indonesian dancer and choreographer Juju Masunah.

The revision from 2008 added the C-flute and the piccolo. Also some transitions between the various cycles have been changed.