Lion's Eye, for gamelan supplemented by sampled sounds, was written for the ensemble Gamelan Son of Lion. The 45-minute piece is based on a very simple formula: a short, multilayered, discrete rhythmic and melodic pattern is repeated several times and then replaced by a new pattern. The patterns vary considerably in timbre, texture, pulse, and melody, and the number of repetitions changes enough to avoid predictability. The piece is the aural equivalent of looking through a kaleidoscope, holding each image a while, giving the viewer the time to absorb the details of the image, and then turning the cylinder quickly to a new and contrasting image. The much briefer Lion's Tale uses similar musical material and a similar formula, but the sound is entirely generated from samples, giving the composer a broader range of possibilities for the speed of the patterns and for the length of time the pitches can be sustained. For the listener who loves the bright and colorful sounds of the gamelan, both pieces are enchanting, and the variety of patterns prevents the music from becoming monotonous.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Eddins