The making (and playing) of the gamelan is steeped in Javanese culture and tradition but its look and sound have universal appeal, as became clear yesterday.
The gamelan at the Sage is a fabulous-looking thing made of teak and bronze and with a quartet of carved wooden dragons resplendent above the largest rack of gongs.
As befits a thing so beautiful, it has a name, given to it by master gamelan maker Tentrem Surwanto, who also made the gamelan owned by York University back in 1981.
Sanusi and other Sasak confirmed the role of the Balinese gamelans on several occasions.
At Lingsar this happens with the performance of a Balinese gamelan gong kuna between four and five am on the opening day.
Some scholars (Becker 1979, DeVale and Dibia 1991) hold that the forms and structures of gamelan music are homologous with that of cosmology; that an isomorphic mapping process connects the music to the placement of deities, the designs of calendars, and so forth.
Despite their strikingly similar opening shots of musicians playing Balinese gamelan instruments, Taksu: Music in the Life of Bali and Bali Beyond the Postcard display widely different angles on Balinese art and culture.
The spiritual aspect of Balinese culture is represented in sacred gamelan musical ensembles; in the mudras (sacred hand gestures) and mantras (sacred syllables) performed by the high priest as he creates holy water to bless the villagers; in the chanting of a text from a lontar (palm leaf manuscript); in group prayers; and in numerous ritual processions.
Just as these elements are interwoven in Bali, the video alternates between depictions of weaving and a gamelan rehearsal, and between scenes of water and music, rice harvesting and dance.
The 'piece' combines Indonesian gamelan techniques with sophisticated electronics.
Upon returning, he helped form the English Gamelan Orchestra, before returning to the States, where he studied with jazz trumpeter Don Cherry.
There was also an off-shoot new music duo with Janet Sherbourne and Metalworks, a gamelan ensemble devoted to modern pieces.
A Gamelan is a ceremonial Indonesian orchestra made up of gongs and metallophones.
Although the Gamelan comprises numerous instruments, it is generally regarded as a single instrument with many players - a collective with a singular sound, so to speak.
His specially composed piece, Clockwork Spirits, will feature at The Sage Gateshead in a show which will feature the Gamelan in full glory plus the percussionist Brendan Murphy.