Sri Yantra

Abuh Abuh Tenun
flute and marimba

Robert Morris

Program Notes

Abuh Abuh Tenun was written in the spring of 1996 for the flute/percussion duet Kesatuan. The title (in English, "Loom") has many references. First, it is an Indonesian word, chosen since "Kesatuan" is Indonesian for "unity." Second, the piece is characterized by the pervasive use of polyphonic braids, in which the flute and marimba share and exchange musical figures. (I often like to compare musical structure to fabric material that can be sewn, bunched-up, folded as required, something that adapts to compositional occasion rather than "controls" it.) Third, "abuh abuh tenun" alludes to "tantra", a Sanskrit work also meaning "loom"; this brings with it the idea of "matrix" and "mandala" from Tantric Buddhism or Hinduism, concepts that underlie my compositional aims. But, for all the resonances, this piece is also a kind of serenade, a mood of gentle nocturnal movement.

Abuh Abuh Tenun was a finalist in the National Flute Association's 1999 Newly Published Composition Competition and will be released on Centaur Recordings performed by Kesetuan in the fall of 1999.