Recording: This is Not a Clarinet (Cantaloupe) 2001 - Evan Ziporyn, soloist
Four Impersonations consists of four movements - Honshirabe, Pengrangrang Gede,Thum Nyatitii, Bindu Semara - all based closely on careful transcriptions of melodies from other cultures. Each requires a few particular extended techniques, all explained in the preparatory notes to each movement.
In Balinese trance, as in many similar traditions throughout the world, subjects are inhabited by specific people or entities who speak through them. Their voice remains their own, but the words they speak are foreign to them, often in ancient or foreign languages they themselves do not understand. In these pieces the voices of three different cultures - Japanese shakuhachi (Honshirabe), Balinese gamelan (Pengrangrang Gede and Bindu Semara), and East African nyatiti (Thum Nyatiti) - speak through the clarinet. As a rational westerner, I've transcribed and translated, found ways to play them, but as a trance subject-wannabe I leave the interpretation to others.