OPAQUE SILHOUETTE
music/video by Steve Everett
Created: Fall 2000, Princeton, NJ and Atlanta, GA
Length: 10 minutes

This work is the opening section of a two-hour multimedia shadow play, KAM, for Javanese shadow puppeteer, gamelan and Western instruments, interactive computer electronics and video installation. It is based on a play, Ki Ageng Mangir by Indonesian author and political dissident, Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

This video is a look into the inner world and torment of the play's main character, Princess Pembayun, daughter of the first sultan of the Mataram dynasty, Senopati, in late 16th century Java. She is deceived and manipulated by her father and consequently deceives her husband who is her father's arch rival. In KAM, this complex struggle for truth, power, and honor is told in a traditional Javanese shadow play form with additional visual and computer musical elements. The music was created using the SuperCollider and Kyma computer music systems.

The composer has met with Toer on two occasions (1996 and 1997) in Jakarta to discuss this play and his projections on the future of Indonesia. The play is a retelling of a sixteenth-century Javanese conflict, but the situations in Toer's adaptation are quite current.

Steve Everett is professor of music at Emory University in Atlanta (steveeverett.org/)

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