Kecak Attack! (2008), 4 minutes
For mixed a cappella choir
Premiere: May 28, 2010, Suwon, S. Korea, Suwon Civic Chorale, In-Gi Min, conductor. Commissioned by the Suwon Civic Chorale.
Kecak Attack! is based on the Indonesian monkey dance of the same name. The origin of kecak can be traced back to trance dances in which a choir of young men call rapid cak-ka-cak rhythms to put into a trance young girls who have been selected to keep misfortune and evil from the village. The main purpose of the kecak choir was to use sharp staccato cries in interlocking style. I have replaced an all male choir with a mixed choir and turned the kecak into a playful rhythmic interplay between the different sections of the choir. It starts with the interlocking chant and then undergoes a series of transformations, in which the choir uses whispers, the singers’ bodies, and snapping of fingers, to add color to the chant.
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