Gamelan

Last night I attended the Bates College Gamelan Orchestra concert. The performance was the last show of Bates’ 2008 World Music Week. The focus was on ‘Musical Legacies of South and Southeast Asia’ and everyone who attended the event in the Olin Arts Center was treated to an amazing show. I consider myself fairly knowledgeable on a wide variety of musical genres but last night I realized how little I know and understand about the musical cultures of other countries. Guest artists who specialize in Gamelan music participated in the event last night. Nano S. from Indonesia was the guest composer and each of the three other visitors had their own role in the show (One played drums, one the bamboo flute, and one danced). The music was like nothing I had ever heard before and I was grateful to have the opportunity not only to hear the Bates students play this unique style of music but also to be able to watch the native artists perform. It was an amazing show but because it was being recorded I was unable to take any photos. Below is a youtube video of a Gamelan band from Bali. It is not quite the same as the Bates Gamelan Orchestra but it gives you a little idea of what Gamelan is like if you are not familiar with it…

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