In Procession I use several unorthodox playing techniques on the gamelan. The tunings of pelog and slendro are combined freely throughout; the piano remains tuned as is usual (well-tempered chromatic). The instruments are not dampened, but are left to ring on while subsequent notes are played, giving the effect of clouds of sound. Compositionally as well the piece is not at all conventional, but explores the gamelan in different ways both harmonically and melodically.
In the first movement this is through combining the close intervals between the pelog and slendro modes; in Quartet through step-wise ascending movement; in the fifth movement, a transcription of a short Liszt’s Ave Maria, the gamelan approximates the triadic harmonies of the piano original. The third movement, Melody in Pelog and Slendro, is closest to a traditional Javanese composition, although here the free intermingling of the two modes creates an unusual effect. As well, various instruments are used in atypical ways – the Gong in the first movement struck with an open palm and functioning as a rhythmic marker, or the kempul in the third movement acting as an ostinato; over this rebab and gender elaborate melodic patterns combining the two tunings. The piano is sometimes used as a timbral device (as in the opening movement) and sometimes more in a melodic manner, as in the Finale.