“Asmaradana”, a Javanese song form reserved for themes of heroic or tragic love, originates from the courtly life and music of Central Java. Already established by the eleventh century, it endures even today as a well-loved form of expression. My interest in this was awakened during several visits to Indonesia, which I made with my husband David Cox, in the 1970’s and 80’s. Originally this piece was a setting of the poem “Asmaradana” by the very influential Indonesian poet Goenawan Mohamad translated by Dr. Harry Aveling. I later wrote the work as a piano solo; this orchestral version was written for performance by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Mills, for the Music of Australia program, which took place during the Trade and Cultural Mission in Jakarta, AUSTRALIA TODAY INDONESIA ’94. The piano version is published by Wirripang Pty. Ltd., and this orchestral version has been recorded by Vienna Modern Masters. In this story, from the poem by Goenawan Mohamad, Damarwulan farewells his love Anjasmara as he leaves to join in battle and meet his death as various omens predict.

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