One of the most intriguing musical events of the new season is coming up this Saturday and Sunday: the American premiere of A House In Bali, a new opera by composer Evan Ziporyn at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley with Cal Performances. Ziporyn, one of the founders of the Bang on a Can ensemble (a recurring visitor to the Bay Area) has been fascinated by Balinese music for almost thirty years, and he set up a book by Colin McPhee to his mix of Western and gamelan music. The book recalls the adventures of an American composer fascinated by Balinese music, in a mise-en-abyme on par with the Quaker holding the box of cereals and the Vache-qui-rit earring.

The opera brings together the Bang on a Can All-Stars, some operatic singers, Indonesian dancers, and gamelan performers. Check out how funky it looked and how cool it sounded at the premiere in Bali.

We had a phone chat with Evan from his home in Massachusetts, where he teaches composition at MIT.