Gamelan X or Cenik Wayah is the brilliant collaboration of ethnomusicologists, gamelan lovers and Dan Bales, who is both of the latter. I heard Dan talk about the project at the special edition of BSF Pechakucha – how he was bringing deep beats and grooves to gamelan, creating a contemporary sound. What I didn’t expect is how moving it would be. How somehow the rhythms because more accessible to my western ear. It was a performance of two halves – first traditional, second with Dan’s San Francisco flair. For this the Balinese musicians donned shades and hats – and they grinned like cheshire cats for the rest of the show. It was thoroughly awesome.
Written by : Suki Zoe