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Recorded Badui Villages of the West Java Jungle
near Rangkasbitung by Electrophoria
(Kai Riedl / Producer, Suny Lyons / Engineer)

The Badui of West Java have rejected all modern culture and technology. Protected by the Indonesian government, this village has been able to preserve its historical customs and music. Hear these living representatives of a forgotten time musically integrate themselves into the land with its spirits and cycles. These numerous recordings represent a wide variety of the unique styles found in this culture.

The customs, land, culture,and religious worldview of most remote people are under constant pressure. The Badui people of west Java have religiously committed themselves to maintaining their time tested way of life that rejects both Islam and all of modern technology. Through voluntary isolation over centuries they have preserved an animistic religion that reflects a cosmology shared by the earliest people in this part of the world. This religious worldview revolves around living intimately with the land and its cycles and negotiating with its spirits and inhabitants. In all of Java it would be difficult to find another group tuned into natures rhythms.

Understandably, the music of the Badui reflects the qualities that are needed to live out their unique lifestyle. Through this music one can hear a strong focus on community, simplicity as well as large degree of attention to delicate balances.

This album represents many of the styles of music and instrumentation found throughout several of the villages that make up the Badui territory. The tracks begin with a small kacapi (zither) and violin (made of solid wood) duo. Next is a small gamelan degung set that
includes metallaphones, wooden xylophones, gongs, and a violin. The final tracks are recordings of a planting and harvest ceremony held only at certain times of the year. During these performances large groups of elderly men and young boys alike come together and dance in a circle while singing and rattling bamboo tubes called Anklung. These songs pass on history and ways of life in the Badui community as well as hopes for a productive harvest a prosperous community.