this was literally the first gamelan disc I bought, includes a wide range of styles. was hooked roughly 10 seconds into the first track.
"This classic of ethnomusicology was originally recorded in 1941 by the Fahnestock brothers, Bruce and Sheridan, on what was then state of the art aluminum discs. The music is amazing both for the quality of the sound and the beauty of the performing gamelans -- the sound is rich and clear; individual notes hang shimmering in the air like rainforest hummingbirds. The enclosed booklet tells the story of the expedition that the Fahnestocks organized to capture these sounds, recorded just before the creeping invasion of Western influence. The journey included shipwrecks and lugging the unwieldy recording equipment through impenetrable jungles. It reads like a possible musical adventure for a future Indiana Jones flick." -- j. poet
and Mickey Hart likes to stress his involvement / make things sound like he's mainly responsible for them:
"Music for the Gods, the Fahnstock Expedition was one of my Endangered Music Project recordings that I curated and released on the World Series for Rykodisc in the 90’s.The Fahnstocks were recording the Indonesian archipelago in 1939-1940 as spies for President Roosevelt. He was searching for information about his great uncle’s adventures in Indonesia. This is a fantastic story. I found this collection at the Library of Congress and digitized it, not really knowing the far-reaching implications that were to arise from its rediscovery. When I visited Bali about 4 years ago I brought my recording equipment with me. I was on the track of the rarest of gamelon music, the iron gamelon. When I arrived in Bali, I went to the Institute for Music in Denpasar and met with Pak Dibia the leading ethnomusicologist on the peninsula.
He was the most knowledgeable ethno on gamelon and all of its sub-sets. I asked him if he would give me 5 of the most important works or examples of gamelon music that he knew of. He handed me 5 recordings; one of them was Music for the Gods. He was not aware that I curated and produced this CD. So this music had made the round trip; it had worked its way back into their culture and was now considered the finest example of post war gamelon. This music was long forgotten, but was now being played by the many large ensembles scattered across the island. We were all overjoyed by this discovery and I was from then on treated like family wherever I went. They were given back their greatest treasure that the war ripped away from them and they saw it in those terms. It was like a prisoner of war or a long lost relative that had returned from battle." -- Mickey Hart