The origins of this piece lie in an earlier, discarded work, written after some study of Javanese gamelan music and scored for Javanese instruments, with prepared piano and double bass. In Three Dawn Rituals the outline of the original Javanese modes is retained, as well as an evocation of the soft bell and gong sounds which characterise gamelan.
The second Ritual is the most substantial movement and is an impulsive, primitive essay in controlled violence. Much of the wind writing is improvisatory and extrovert, while other parts emphasise a rigid and brittle rhythmic framework. The outer movements are in comparison restrained – the first providing a static isorhythmic preparation, the third a brief aphoristic postlude of a calmer and more pensive nature.
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to the composer