Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Fine Arts

Department

Music

First Advisor

Professor James B. Campbell

Abstract

Solo percussionist and composer Glenn Kotche has achieved international fame with his experimental percussion-based music, collaborating with and composing for renowned contemporary music ensembles such as the Kronos Quartet, Band on a Can All-Stars, So Percussion, and Eighth Blackbird. One of his most celebrated compositions in recent years is Monkey Chant, which combines acoustic and electronic elements in a solo multiple percussion setting. Written and premiered in 2006, Kotche was inspired to compose Monkey Chant after listening to original field recordings in Bali from the Nonesuch Explorer Series. Found in these recordings is the popular Balinese music and dance drama known as Kecak. Monkey Chant showcases, through percussion, the intricate vocal patterns and recounting of the Ramayana Epic featured in Balinese Kecak.

This monograph serves as an informational performance guide for Monkey Chant that simplifies and resolves performance questions and issues. It provides a contextual setting for the work with a brief biography of Glenn Kotche, including his musical influences and inspiration for the composition. Balinese Kecak is examined as well as the Hindu Ramayana tale as it relates to Kotche’s composition, revealing the function for its compositional form. This document also clarifies and details preparatory procedures for collecting and building the unique instruments required, also detailing schematics for electronic audio equipment and setup. Lastly, there is an analysis of compositional style and form, offering optional solutions to performance obstacles.

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