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J Larsen

Balinese Gamelan

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I'd like to pick up an album or two of Balinese Gamelan music. A DVD would be even better.

I'd just buy a couple at random, but I'm afraid of inadvertently picking up something catering to the perceived tastes of western audiences -- a common problem I've found with "world music" albums.

Any recommendations?

Thanks.

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Back in the day, the Nonesuch Explorer series was the way to go. Don't know if that still holds, or even if they're still available. But they were (supposedly) straight-up "field recordings", so I don't know how much, if any, "world music" attitude came into play.

For Balinese Gamelan, there was one Nonesuch Explorer album that had gamelan on one side & the Monkey Chant on the other. Lord knows that one was a favorite back in the day, that Monkey Chant. Pretty powerful stuff.

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I have one recording on LP which is excellent--The Exotic Sounds of Bali, on Columbia, copyright 1963. Music performed by the Gamelon Gong Sekar Anjar and Gender Wajong Quartet. I couldn't find it on amazon though.

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I have one recording on LP which is excellent--The Exotic Sounds of Bali, on Columbia, copyright 1963. Music performed by the Gamelon Gong Sekar Anjar and Gender Wajong Quartet. I couldn't find it on amazon though.

This is the recording that I have, available in an ebay auction.

http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Exotic-Sounds-of-B...080627187r15942

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I have two Nonesuch recordings of Balinese music - gamelan music included on both - Music from the Morning of the World and Bali. Neither is commercialized to fit into a "world music" - I hate that term - bag, and I enjoy listening to both.

There's a lot of gamelan music on each of these, but neither one is all gamelan.

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There are some really good sites on gamelans and gamelan music.

Here's one: http://www.gamelan.org.uk/index.htm - their discography covers music from central Java only; there's a lot more out there.

and this blog has some very interesting videos and recs.: http://endofworldmusic.blogspot.com/

You might also check out the multi-volume set of Indonesian music on Smithsonian Folkways... over 20 discs (sold individually) with an incredible array of music and genres.

Edit: I forgot this site - they also have a store, and some streamable recordings - http://www.gamelan.org/index.html

Edited by seeline

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Excellent sources there, seeline, thanks for the pointers! :tup

On the strictly Nonesuch Explorer trip, and to be honest, the Balinese gamelan per se was something that I "got", said "ok" to, and then moved on (that Monkey chant, though, hey...). But there was a NE album of Javanese gamelan that was like the ultimate narcotic music. This stuff was chilled out to the max, ultra mentholated and syruped, and you didn't need no smoke or no nothing if you had that one playing. If ever there was musical opium, this was it.

Unfortunately (and probably predictably), I can't remember which one it was...

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