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Performers

Performers

Performed by the Isi Gamelan Group of Yogyakarta
& the Asti Gamelan Group of Bandung
& the RRI radio station group of Yogyakarta
(Slendro Kuntut Wiranten)

Recorded at Asti Traditional Sundanese Arts School
in Bandung & Isi Traditional Indonesian Arts School
in Yogyakarta & RRI Radio Studio in Bandung
Java, Indonesia by Electrophoria
(Kai Riedl / Producer and Suny Lyons / Engineer)

The Gamelan music of Java is intricate yet graceful. Its beauty and power have made it one of the most popular forms of music to come out of Java. Employing bronze keys, gongs, drums, and strings, its lovely interlocking patterns have influenced many western composers, including Bela Bartok, John Cage, Phillip Glass, and Steve Reich. This recording includes examples found in central Java, West Java (Sunda), and in wedding ceremonies throughout the land.

The performance of gamelan music has expressed the worldview of people of Java for hundreds of years. The unique way a gamelan ensemble works together interdependently, creating powerful and graceful music, has defined Javanese music, largely, and has influenced music throughout the world. Gamelan is the name of a large percussion ensemble consisting of various-sized instruments made with bronze gongs and keys. These gongs and keys are either suspended or mounted with wooden frames, thus able to resonate in a variety of ways.

Gamelan music is based on collectively played interlocking patterns in large cycles, with the end of each cycle punctuated by a stroke on the largest gongs. A typical gamelan performance requires 20-30 players and is usually accompanied by vocals and minimal strings.