ZESX07c— KOTEKAN for alto saxophone and string orchestra NEW VERSION!

ZESX07c— KOTEKAN for alto saxophone and string orchestra NEW VERSION!

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Kotekan implies the interlocking of two or more instruments in a Balinese gamelan orchestra, Norot means to follow, both terms come from the Balinese gamelan music. Its polyrhythmic devices were inspiring to write a new piece based on an unusual disposition of the string orchestra divided into three quintets, opposed to each other, wheras the soloist in the middle should play the kotekan melodies against the ketjak chorus.

The  ketjak was used to accompany a  ballet based on the  Ramayana epic, which is the story of the prince Rama and his  bride, the beautiful Sita. The ketjak is an imitation of an  episode where Hanuman,  king of the monkeys and his army  meets Rama. The chorus consists of nearly all the men  from a Balinese village, sitting in tight concentric circles  (circles within circles), chanting the following rhythm to a  single syllable, tjak, made at the back of their throats.

There are different types of kotekan. In a Balinese gamelan orchestra there are the polos,played on the primary downbeats, and the sangsih, played on the offbeats. In this work, the polos were replaced by quintet I and the sangsih by quintet III, or II. The result showes a fascinating orchestrated score were the rhythmic patterns are coming from left, right or centre of the stage.

Further on,  a specific scale has been used  build on the name of Adolphe Sax.

The name Adolphe Sax results in the mode a b (german h) d e ; the S of Sax stands for E flat and therefore the A-mode has been transposed a tritonus higher on E flat. The result generates a quite exotic scale: a-bes-b-d-es-e-f-gis.

This scale can be transposed many times and gives the harmony a very special colour to the piece.

This challenging concerto is a new 2022 version for saxophone and string orchestra, divided in the traditional 5 separate parts. The original version requests 15 solo parts and is more suitable for a small string orchestra up to 15 players. This version is suitable for a large string orchestra.

Also digitally available as one pdf file which contains score and parts, 160pp.

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