Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Scottish Bali and Iron Pipes: Gamelan Naga Mas at the Kibble Palce, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Sunday 22 June 2008

Just the kind of musical quirkiness I like: a Glasgow based gamelan (playing instruments bought from Java in 1990 when Glasgow was European City of Culture and now owned by the city council) playing a mixture of traditional Javanese gamelan music and pieces written by their members. One of the members is J Simon van de Walt (remember him?), and they played a piece of his called Running In the Dark. They also performed some collaborative pieces with a Scottish piper called Barnaby Brown (on highland pipes and scottish small pipes). Another cross-cultural excursion, probably the most successful of the evening, was a fusion of Gaelic canntaireachd (which is the system of vocalisation by which highland pipers passed on pipe tunes in oral tradition without the need for pipes) and kecak, which is a Balinese form combining dance movement and rapid interlicking vocalisations. In the Naga Mas version (called Kecakaireachd!) they sat round in a circle doing a kind of demented hand jive while singing out strange syllables in Balinese and Gaelic (the latter specifying a specific pibroch from the 17th century).. Surprisingly, it worked rather well.

Oh, and they did a gamelan version of Marie's Wedding. As you do.

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