Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Gamelan Pacifica

The inspiration for this post came only 24 hours ago, I was talking to a friend about how I was struggling to think of a good artist for today's post and she suggested gamelan music and that made me realise that I'd never yet featured a gamelan artist, so after researching some gamelan music I decided to do a post on Gamelan Pacifica. I decided that they should be featured because I like the way in which their music echoes to add effect to scene they're describing.

Gamelan Pacifica was founded in 1980 and is directed by the composer, Jarrad Powell. Their music is new and innovative music with an international style. Although their repertoire is influenced by many composers and traditions, they aim to make it reflect their own musical tastes, interest, training and instincts. They play with 3 sets of instruments: an aluminium American gamelan, a Cirebonese styled bronze set and an iron and bronze set in Central Javanese style. The way in which they use extended instrumentation such as electronic processing, the Roto-Toms and the xiao-bo can be seen as the way in which the concept of gamelan is changing.

I didn't realise until today that Gamelan had been influential in the development of modern Western music, whose influences include Debussy and Steve Reich. So many thanks to Lydia because she unintentionally taught me something I didn't know about music!

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