The Living Treasures of Bali

very happy to present these videos. (finder's credit goes to Janas) i have arranged them in a sequence which makes sense as a complete experience; for the newcomer whose curiosity is cursory, the essential ones to see are 01 and 07.

included below are good quicktime and better MPEG2 links (for more options including streaming go to the archive), but this is for sure no substitute for seeing and hearing in the flesh: if you live in a big city, chances are there is an ensemble associated with music department of a university or Indonesian cultural center, doing shows a few times a year...

Performances by eminent elder Balinese performing artists with Gamelan Semara Ratih
"Banyu Pinaruh dan Bulan Purnama"
26 December 2004 - Ubud, Bali

sit your friends down, shut them up, lower the lights, turn up the volume and give the EQ some extra bass. (comments below are from my subjective point of view, without knowing the narratives of the pieces or their historical significance.)

01 Kembang_Kuning
instrumental piece in which the power and subtlety within interplay of complex elements of the full orchestra is demonstrated. quicktime or MPEG2

02 Baris
a somewhat angular dance with a sense of urgency and danger, perhaps a good introduction to the many dancers which follow. quicktime or MPEG2

03 Kebyar Duduk
an ornamental and lush performance with sweeping arcs and gentle inviting gestures. quicktime or MPEG2

04 Teruna Jaya
a sensuous and playful dance. quicktime or MPEG2

05 Jauk_Manis
my fist time seeing one of these guys my heart almost stopped... a demon animal spirit of some kind, he is at once spooky and funny. quicktime or MPEG2

06 Bapang Gede
a lovely number from this woman who looks to be at least 80... limbs not so nimble anymore but the moves are still there, and most importantly the spirit... she must be the coolest grandmother in the world. quicktime or MPEG2

07 Palawakya
this is the centerpiece for me. not only are her fantastic moves out of this world, her characterization rich with personality, she also sings and sits down to play gongs. quicktime or MPEG2

08 Oleg Tambulilingan
a dance for pair of female and male performers. some kind of love story is my guess. quicktime or MPEG2

09 Candra Metu
a subtle and whimsical dance. quicktime or MPEG2


Anonymous said...

Have just discovered this blog, and I must say that it is awesome. Hip, intelligent, well-rounded, passionate, global....and most funky. Keep it up.

Harumendhah Helmy said...

Found your blog while looking for some Steve Reich stuff to check out... I am Indonesian and am terribly touched that you are interested in Balinese gamelan. I am fortunate enough to have seen some performances live and they were quite amazing experiences! :)

misoft said...

Wow! I almost cried! Long time ago, I used to play in the Balinese Gamelan Ensemble from Univeristy of Montreal now called "Giri Kedaton", we played all those songs... Good memories!

Thank you so much for posting those wonderful videos!

Jorge Vismara said...

precious images of the great teachers... thanks...
I have plenty of images around Ubud...
about performances:
or in general...