Lou Harrison (1917–2003) believed fervently in music’s power to create cultural bridges. To this end he applied his prodigious skills and creative energies to creating syncretic works that link diverse musical languages. Faulted at times for his eclecticism, Harrison responded with a vibrant defense of hybridity, cultivating a musical multiculturalism long before that term held the currency it now enjoys. He ultimately composed over three dozen gamelan pieces. The most distinctive characteristic of Harrison’s music lies in its inherent plurality. He was drawn to community, both in performance groups such as the gamelan and the percussion ensemble, and in the compositions themselves, which unite elements from various times and places. Harrison’s originality lay in the way he creatively combined these elements to produce novel syntheses.
Concerto in Slender (1961), Main Bersama-Sama (1978), Threnody for Carlos Chávez (1979), Serenade for Betty Freeman (1978), String Quartet Set (1978-9), Suite for Percussion (1942)
originally issued as CRI CD 613