New Music at Carnegie Hall: Carnegie Hall Commissions
Commission at a Glance
Music for a Royal Palace
Christopher Adler
Recorded on September 13, 2006
at Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood Music Center


Andrea Hemmenway, Viola; Wu Tong, Sheng; Joseph Gramely, Percussion; John Hadfield, Percussion; Rod Thomas Squance, Percussion

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Notes on the Work

Christopher Adler is a composer, performer, and improviser whose compositions draw upon over a decade of research into the traditional musics of Thailand and Laos and his background in mathematics. He is internationally recognized as a foremost performer of new and traditional music for the khaen, a free-reed mouth organ from Laos and Northeast Thailand, and is the pianist and composer-in-residence with the ensemble NOISE. He is currently an associate professor at the University of San Diego. His work may be heard on Tzadik, pfMENTUM, Nine Winds Records, Artship Recordings, and Accretions.

About the piece, the composer writes:

Music for a Royal Palace is an homage to the Bang Pa-In Palace in Ayuthaya, Thailand, built in the mid- 19th century with an opulent juxtaposition of Thai, Chinese, and Western architectural styles. The latter half of the work is an arrangement of the Thai classical melody Jin Khim Lek, composed in a Chinese style by Thai composer Khruu Mii Khaek not long before Bang Pa-In was built. Both the structure and broadly embellished form of this arrangement are characteristic of Thai classical music, while the parts for each individual instrument are an invented hybrid of Thai, Chinese, and Western idioms.