Notes by the composer
Kebyar Maya was written in response to Maya Beiser’s request for “Balinese cello music.” Since none exists, we decided we turn the cello into a gamelan: I took a Balinese piece from the early part of the century - “Kebyar Ding” - and transformed it into something that could contain harmony and a hybridized expressivity. Needless to say, Balinese gamelan needs no improvement – but the challenge of finding cello analogues to gongs, bamboo flutes, and interlocking percussion instruments led us into extremely unexpected terrain. “Kebyar” refers to sudden, natural events: the bursting open of a flower, a flash of lightning. “Maya” is the veil of illusion, the leap of the human mind that allows us to imagine 16 cellists with identical sounds, playing Balinese rhythms in perfect synchrony.
Kebyar Maya was commissioned by the Rockefeller Multi-Arts Program, with additional support from the MIT Council for the Arts. It was premiered by Maya Beiser at Killian Hall on the MIT campus in October 1995.
The solo part is accompanied by CD. No click track is required. The soloist will need to hear the accompaniment for tempi and ensemble purposes. The solo part should be mixed slightly louder than the CD, at the discretion of the sound engineer and soloist. The length is 13’50”.