Maduswara: Peni’s commission for Kronos Quartet

Peni Candra Rini, our guest artistic director for this season, has just premiered at Carnegie Hall a composition commissioned by Kronos Quartet as part of their 50 for the Future program. Congratulations, Peni! Sukses!

New York Classical Review observes:

Rini joined Kronos for Maduswara, singing and playing the rebab…. Rini’s tradition is Javanese music, and Maduswara was an involving evocation of this. Rini’s writing for the quartet kept the traditional rhythms while opening up the textures so that every vocal inflection, bent note, and move from a pentatonic to a Western major scale—and back—had an extra expressive edge.

Photo by Peter McElhinney for Style Weekly

Peni and Kronos recently joined in a panel discussion at the University of Richmond regarding her composition and their process of adapting it. Andy asked her to sing a passage from it, and the effect was wondrous: the members of Kronos, no strangers to awe-inspiring talent, all spoke of being deeply moved by the power of her voice in close proximity, and began to think aloud about how that sensation might change their performance technique, to represent not just the “flotando” (floating, flute-like) timbre but also the deep resonance.

Update: the truly great news following this premiere is that Kronos has commissioned 4 additional compositions from Peni!