A stay in Bali in 1976 marked a turning point in Claude Vivier’s career. Most of Vivier’s subsequent works show the influence of the atmosphere of this Pacific island. Pulau Dewata, whose title means “Island of the Gods” in Indonesian, is a tribute piece to the wonderful Balinese people. The whole piece is merely a melody whose rhythmic language is sometimes drawn from the Balinese rhythmic line. The ending of the piece is in fact an exact quotation of the “panjit prana,” the offering dance of the Legong. It is a simple piece: monochrome, a short piece above all full of joy, alternating single melodies—“intervalized”— and complementary melodies in the Balinese style. The score of Pulau Dewata is dedicated to the McGill Percussion Ensemble. It does not specify instrumentation, permitting any combination of instruments that suits the scoring.
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