“Komboi” for percussion and harpsichord (1981), is developed from “pitch sieves” (the piece is closely related to “Mists” for solo piano), but the range of sounds is vast, from a flurry of random-seeming notes to hyper-elegant gamelan rhythms. The dry timbres of the woodblock give way to a rainbow of metallic percussion. After the success of “Komboi”, Xenakis wrote “Oophaa” (1989) for the same forces, which is shorter and less diverse, being instead based on blocky shapes as much late Xenakis. Entertaining, but a minor achievement.
Duration – 18′
Published by Christopher Culver
Annotated by Mike Daley