MEKAR BHUANA CONSERVATORY
Antique Semar Pegulingan Court Gamelan
Mekar Bhuana are becoming an instituion in their native Bali, and are the leading gamelan orchestra for reviving and preserving near extinct gamelan traditions. They were founded in 2000 by New Zealand ethnomusicoligist Vaughan Hatch. The group performed the pieces on this CD on their antique seven-tone semar pegulingan gamelan. Ten beautiful tracks of reconstructed music that was extinct or rarely heard, and studied from elderly masters or vintage recordings. Seven semar pegulingan tracks played in three different ancient modes and three pelegongan pieces, one of which, a composition by the famous early 20th century composer, I Wayan Lotring, has never previously been released. Superbly recorded in a natural outdoor environment. Comes with extensive English liner notes. A monumental album of gamelan music. Listen to samples.
1. Kawitan Tembung (Kamasan, Klungkung style, tembung scale) 2. Gadung Melati (Kamasan, Klungkung style, tembung scale) 3. Gambang Kuta (Banjar Teges Kanginan, Ubud style, lebeng scale) 4. Sekar Gadung (Reconstructed from recording of gamelan set from an unidentified village, baro scale) 5. Bopong (Banjar Tegal, Kuta style, tembung scale) 6.Semarandana (Banjar Pagan Kelod, Denpasar style, baro scale) 7. Unduk (Kamasan, Klungkung style, selisir scale) 8. Gambang Kuta (Banjar Teges Kanginan, Ubud style, tembung scale) 9. Jerbon (Banjar Pagan Kelod, Denpasar style, selisir scale) 10.Tabuh Gari Penutup (Banjar Pagan Kelod, Denpasar style, tembung scale)
PURI TABAN SABA, feat. DIDIK NINI THOWOK, NI NYOMAN SUDEWI , SANGGAR SENI SABA SARI
Legong Bapang Saba - A Selection of Legong Performances Part 1
A selection of classic Legong (a form of Balinese dance) performances featuring Didik Nini Thowok, Ni Nyoman Sudewi Sanggar Seni Saba Sari (A.A Ngr. Serama Semadi, SSP.M.Si. ). A style once practiced by legendary Balinese dancers such as I Gusti Gede Raka Saba.
DIDIK NINI THOWOK, NI NYOMAN SUDEWI , SANGGAR SENI SABA SARI
Legong Bapang Saba - A Selection of Legong Performances Part 2
Another superb recording of the recently revived Saba style of legong music. This particular five-toned pelegongan orchestra was built by I Wayan Pager (from the Sidakarya workshop) in Blahbatuh. This album features both legong dance pieces and instrumental compositions by I Wayan Lotring (1898-1983) one of the most influential composers of 20th century Bali. The versions performed on this album are in the distinctive old Saba style, that is quite different to anything else found in Bali.
Jegog Tiying Sangkep
Wonderful album from Bali's premier jegog (giant bamboo) orchestra, under the leadership of I Kekut Suwentra. Suar Agung were founded in 1971 by brothers I Kekut Suwentra and the late I Nyoman Jayus, in Sangkaraung village. A jegog orchestra is composed of fourteen bamboo xylophones, some of which are up to 3 metres and resonate at extremely low levels. It has a four tone scale, each signifying north, south, east and west. The sound of Suar Agung is one of the greatest sounds emanating from the musically rich island of Bali.
Spirit of Healing - Bali
Makoto Kubota has created a superb album of Balinese (and Javanese) soundscapes, from gamelan jegog to suling overlaid with cool beats and some natural sounds of the forest. Quite similar to Blue Asia's first album Hotel Ibah, but more laid back. As ever with Makoto Kubota this is a high quality album, great to chill out to, but equally great as a pure listening experience.
Laid back, cool recordings of Balinese gamelan and singers set to Makoto Kubota's trademark soundscape and production of gentle beats, ambient and natural sounds. A mix of Balinese and Javanese music. Deeply relaxing. 1. Legian Road Morning 2. Ujuang - Banondari 3. First Snow in Bali 4. Ubud Walk 5. Bandung 6. Prayer 7. Funky Gendel 8. Dukun 9. Neleng 10. Bali Dream
BANJAR TUNJUK KELOD 'KUSMA SARI'
Gong Leko - Tunjuk - Tabanan Tabuh-tabuh Leko
Superb recording made in Tunjuk village Bali in 1997 by gamelan expert and musician Makoto Torii, released on the Nippon Acoustic Records label. This CD is of instrumental gamelan music from this small village of 4500 people, famous for its large groups of gamelan.
1. Liar Samas 2. Adrah 3. Sinom Ladrang 4. Culutuk
BANJUR TUNJUK KELOD 'KUSMA SARI'
Gong Leko - Tunjuk-Tabanan Tari Leko
CD of dance gamelan music from the village of Tunjuk in South Bali. Excellent recording.
1. Gabor 2. Leko (Condong-Lasem) 3. Ibing-Ibingan
TATSUYA KOUMAZAKI & DHARMA SHANTHI
Spirits Vibrations / Language Kletegan Hati
Recorded in Ubud, Bali, this is a collaboration between Japanese guitarist Tatsuya Koumazaki and a ten piece gamelan group called Dharma Shanthi. Koumazaki is used to playing his guitar with its special design, tunings and sound (similar to a Japanese koto) in unusual collaborations such as with Japanese Buddhist chanters. His guitar either picks out the melody or is used in quite a percussive way and on the final track accompanies a single instrument, the gender. 1. Empathy 2.The First Meeting 3. Sekanti 4. Jalanan Ke Bulan 5. Kesanga 6. Ameagari. Click here to email for availability
The Best Sound of Bali
Lavishly packaged, superbly recorded compilation of Balinese gamelan, including gamelan gender wayang (dating back to the 15th century), played by current gamelan groups. Click here to email for availability
The sound of crickets, a pounding bass gong, the occasional bird call, the sound of thunder. You can't tap your foot to it, or sing along to it, just wonder how it is that 40 minutes of this makes not just pretty good background noise, but an inspiring listen. Click here to email for availability
KECAK BONA SARI
Monkeys, Apes and Human Beat
Great recording of a classical style kecak chant from Bali. This is not the clanging metallic gamelan, instead the male choir imitate the sound of the gamelan.This 50 minute story is a Ramayana Epic. Fascinating stuff. Click here to email for availability
Together with 'Gong Geladag' below, perhaps Balinese gamelan has never sounded this vital. Superb gamelan music by top group, supervised by Haruomi Hosono, for extra recommendation.
Performance of Balinese gamelan is brought into dynamic life by superior quality recording. A good place to investigate gamelan, and includes English liner notes. Click here to email for availability