12 May 2006

Balinese Gamelan

We've waxed before about some modern hybrid gamelan sounds. But as part of our ongoing focus on sacred music, today we get a little more traditional.

The angklung ensemble features a large number of small metallophones in different sizes, each with only four keys. Because the instruments are light-weight, the angklung is most frequently heard in processions, with the musicians carrying their instruments. The most common ceremonial function is the funeral procession to the cremation grounds.

Here's a little such music for you, from Kertha Jaya of Abianbase, Gianyar. This piece was a winner in a 1989 competition for new compositions. Read and hear more at the link below the song.

[mp3] Kertha Jaya: "Sapta Murti"
for more such music, see www.asianclassicalmp3.org

You can hear a different style of gamelan this morning on the radio show Spin the Globe. Gamelan Degung Girijaya plays a West Javanese gamelan style, and they're doing a radio preview of their upcoming performance at the May 13 World Sacred Music Festival. It's on KAOS 89.3 FM if you're in the South Puget Sound area, or can be heard online.

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