The Autumn Vibes Festival in the Botanic Gardens was essentially 'cool' music in between the trees. There was a mix of Asian music and Western music. A conscious effort to bridge the gap between our appreciation and understanding of music that is tuned differently. There were two pianists, a couple of string quartets, a saxophone quartet, a shakuhacki orchestra, and a gamelan. I thought I would close my week long sojourn in the Botanic Gardens with a look at a Gamelan.
A Gamelan is a group of musicians of percussion type instruments, mainly variations upon xylophones, together with a variety of gongs. The gamelan originated on the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java.
The xylophones are tuned differently, and played differently from a western xylophone. Fingers are used as 'pegs' to alter, and stop the flow of sound. Played like this, out under a tree, on a brilliant summer's day, the sound is unbeatable. There are many variations of composition and style, especially along traditional and modern divides.
I went to U-tube to find something for you to hear. I was torn: the gamelan from Indonesia were struck with a metal fork, ours were wooden. The music I heard was from a 'modern' composer. I compromised in my head and choose another sample to further bridge the gap. The video clip shows a gamelan playing with an orchestra. Some traditionalists will be challenged by this. But persevere ...
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