Sanctus (SATB)

Composer's Notes

Sanctus (from Indonesian Mass) is a project to combine Indonesian traditional music elements and Western writing style.

In East Flores folk singing culture, there is a strong tradition to sing in duets with very close intervals that create a very dissonant harmony to ears accustomed to Western musical compositions. To introduce that dissonant ambience, I chose five consecutive notes A, B, C, D, E-flat as the tone series for the beginning of the composition. I also included the duet parts - starting with the basses, followed by the tenors and the sopranos. Only one alto part is introduced to intensify the dissonance against the moving melody of the two soprano parts.

Starting at bar 14, the tone series changes into C, D, E, F, and F-sharp. The traditional duet singing starts this new part, accompanied by clusters of some of the tone series on the male voices and later on in the soprano parts. Traditional East Flores ornamentations are introduced into the composition as well.

Bar 40 uses one sustaining note as a transition to a diatonic scale and is followed right away by a diatonic movement in the very next bar. Male voices still start their lines by imitating glissando in the traditional style - with written notes this time (bar 43) but joins into the diatonic movement in the following bar.

‘Benedictus’ marks the transition back into the East Flores style and ‘Hosanna’ transitions back to the diatonic scale.


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