The American maverick composer Lou Harrison (1917-2003), like his colleague John Cage, was a pioneering explorer of Asian music. He was also an innovative builder of instruments. He and his lifelong partner, Bill Colvig, built sets of tuned percussion instruments that they called the American gamelan. This rewarding new recording offers a captivating performance of a Harrison masterpiece for this instrument, the Suite for Violin with American Gamelan, with the fine violinist Gabriela Diaz as soloist. The other enticement here is Harrison’s beguiling, delicate, melodically haunting “La Koro Sutro,” a setting of an Esperanto adaptation of the traditional Buddhist text the Heart Sutra, with the Providence Singers. This piece ends in a glorious burst of musical joy.
The New York Times
November 5, 2014