Pipilan is a program for composing with gamelan and electronics (more information here). The software uses a simplified set of rules based on the way musicians work out their parts, allowing users to put in a basic sequence of notes and hear a virtual ensemble respond in real-time. A synthesiser part based on the same principles extends and elaborates the sounds of the instruments.
In April 2015 I presented Pipilan as an installation at the invitation of KUG (the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz). This version was customised to use samples recorded as part of KUG’s own Virtual Gamelan project, and the two projects were displayed side by side. An additional “tweet” button presented the option of sharing compositions on the internet.
The installation was also presented as an Ambisonic (surround sound) version in the György-Ligeti-Saal, with audience members collaborating to create a half-hour long piece played over the sound system. This formed the end of a performance of traditional and contemporary music with the Southbank Gamelan Players, and some of the musicians were inspired to play along.
I am grateful to Professor Gerd Grupe and KUG for inviting me to share the space with the Virtual Gamelan Graz project, and for providing access to samples of the gamelan.