Sonoran Desert Gamelan: Unbalanced

by Glenn Weyant

Released 04/01/2015
Released 04/01/2015
New music for an old world.
Sonoran Desert Gamelan: Unbalanced is a work inspired by the 2015 Balance/Unbalance International Conference held at the Arizona State University Tempe Campus.

Over the past decade I've composed a variety of Sonoran Desert Gamelan pieces utilizing the chance properties of water distribution via rain, melting ice and similar aquatic mediums interacting with sonorous metal objects.

In the case of Sonoran Desert Gamelan: Unbalanced desert soil, rocks and vegetation were gathered and then suspended in a medium of mixed waters obtained from the Colorado River, effluent recharge and the Tucson aquifer.

This mixture was frozen in stages to accommodate the insertion of a custom hydrophone and even distribution of the solid materials.

The prepared ice was then placed above a metal membrane which steadily changed in timbre as the ice liquified and the materials struck the gamelan.

The hydrophone was then run into an amplifier to accentuate the tonalities of the melting ice. When the ice was completely melted and the hydrophone exposed to the air, the amplifier signal fed back upon itself indicating completion of the work.

The run time of the piece is determined by the composition of the ice and the heat of the venue. This performance of Sonoran Desert Gamelan: Unbalanced lasted approximately 1.5 hours.

A high quality audio version of this work including a written score and hydrophone is available upon request.