The Weavers, by Gerhardt Hauptmann, portrays a weavers' uprising in Silesia (formerly Germany, now Poland) in the mid 1800s. The director wanted to pursue the use of Balinese gamelan for the show, so most of the music came from both traditional Balinese gamelan pieces, as well as pieces written for the instrument by contemporary composer Evan Ziporyn.
One of the more interesting aspects of working on this show was the trip I took to the old mills in New Bedford, MA to record period-authentic looms and spinning wheels.
This is one of the more traditional Balinese gamelan pieces I used for the play. I also used the sounds that I captured of the weaving looms as well as a recording of a spinning wheel through the speakers on stage to further set the scene.
This cue started under the last couple of lines of a dissenting weaver preaching that the terrible treatment of weavers had to stop. This is still Balinese gamelan playing, but is a bit more contemporary.
This needed to be just a quick button on the end of a scene that got us into intermission. Similarly to the end of the last act, it ended with a man preaching defiance for the weavers.
As we entered act IV back from intermission I wanted to capture some of the perpetual motion of the looms and spinning wheels in the sound of the gamelan, and also had to provide a few seconds for the moving roof unit to be lowered into its position for the act.
As the play moved on and the weavers got angrier, I moved my vocabulary into more contemporary compositions for gamelan. This starts with a piece by Cambridge composer Evan Ziporyn, with a few changes of my own and then moves into a more traditional Balinese song with gamelan.