Peter Ivan Edwards’s Persalutianax


Sounding Now Festival
Friday, 12 April 2019 @ 7:30pm
Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Orchestra Hall

About the composer

Peter Ivan Edwards is a composer who explores sound as a means to articulate energy, shape, narrative, and perspective. He is fascinated by the way computers can be utilized as partners in the creation of powerful, expressive, original music. His works have appeared in concerts and festivals throughout the world, including the Darmstadt Summer Courses (Germany), MATA Festival (New York), Wien Modern (Austria), and the Donaueschinger Musiktage (Germany), amongst others. He has worked with ensembles including Ensemble Phoenix Basel, handwerk (Cologne), Ensemble Multilaterale (Paris), Trio Surplus (Freiburg, Germany), and Ensemble Interface (Frankfurt), amongst others. His most recent CD was released in April 2019 on the NEOS label.

Born in New York in 1973, Edwards makes his home in Singapore today, where he teaches composition and computer music at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory. More information about his activities, compositions, and collaboration can be found at

About the work

Persalutianax was written in 2013 for flute, 2 saxophones, percussion, and piano. It was premiered on a portrait concert for the German composer Dieter Mack on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The work was revised slightly in 2019. Dieter is both a composer and ethnomusicologist with a deep interest in Indonesian music. He spent 9 years in total in Indonesia, studying and performing both Balinese and central Javanese gamelan. He frequently comes to the South East Asian region for projects, particularly those involving young composers of South East Asia. Hence, in this work, I sought to include elements of Indonesian music, but these are subtle – fused within my own compositional language. In my notes on this work, I describe the opening as a kebyar (a burst in Indonesian), drawing a relationship to the most common type of Balinese gamelan today, Gamelan Gong Kebyar. It is a fiery, rhythmically driven style of music. My work starts with explosions that wear down to a trickle. But arising from this are rhythmic cycles reminiscent of gamelan Gong cycles. The most obvious of these arises in the middle of the work, supported by a timbral shift with multiphonics in the wind instruments and harmonics on the piano, mimicking slower instruments like Jegogan and Calung of the Balinese Gamelan. The cycle slows and greater musical elaboration happens in the saxophones as well as the unusual soloist of this section, a bowed Waldteufel performed by the percussionist. Again, this is taken from the concept of musical elaboration in central Javanese Gamelan found in instruments like the Gender. This is a somewhat hypnotic section, abruptly interrupted. The work closes with accumulating, descending melodic lines performed in a strange tutti wherein each musician plays roughly (but never exactly) the same.

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