Moving away from the population centre of Java, Bali and Madura, we explore the folk music of Sumatra, the Riau Islands, and the Mentawi Islands in the northwest of the country. We start with the people living in the interior uplands of Sumatra, the Toba and the Minangkabau, the latter of which being the largest matrilineal society in the world. The Toba are famed for their intricate Gondang percussion music, whereas the Minangkabau have a form of chamber music that features one or two singers with a single instrument.
The first half of the the programme was dedicated to the works of the Ukrainian composer Lubomyr Melnyk, famous for his "continuous stream" technique involving extremely fast notes and continued sustain.
The theme of the latter half was "Americans in Rome" - we featured the collective Musica Elettronica Viva (MEV), founded 1966 in Rome, as well as other composers working in the American Academy in Rome.
We explore the music of the trouvères, the Northern French (Langue d'Oïl) counterpart to the Southern (Langue d'Oc) troubadours. We start with selections from the Remède de Fortune (circa 1340s), composed by the celebrated poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut (c.1300-1377), member of the Ars Nova school, around the time of the Black Death. Then we explore some pastourelles, a sub-genre of trouvère works dealing with stories of courtly love between rural women (often shepherdesses) and knights.