Islands Inbetween Side A

from by Various Artists

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Day and Night
Gending Gending
Suling
Degung Instrumental
Genggong
Cremation Gamelan
Dag combination dance
Ramayana ll

There is no specific translation for 'Gending Gending'. The term generally means 'orchestra' or 'gamelan composition'. The Javanese word for hammer is 'gamel', and the music is said to encourage the growth of plants. 'Suling' - the end blown flute. 'Degung instrumental' - from the Sudabese region of West Java to the speakers of tourists cafes. 'Genggong' - the first Balinese instrument, a mouth harp made from the palm and played by Igusti Ngurah Togog at his homestay in Peliatan, Bali. 'Cremation Gamelan' - a portable ensemble plays while the cremation tower is raised from the death pavilion. Before travelling a mile along the Peliatan road to the Temple of the Dead, the tower is spun around on its bearer's shoulders to confuse the soul, preventing its return home to trouble the living. The overture played as the tower is set alight (with a magnifying glass - matches are thought to be unclean), is recorded on 'Touch Travel'. Dag combination dance - in Bali, individual dances are sometimes merged into modern adaptations, not only as a result of tourism - the gamelan elders think popularisation is the best way to attract young people to dance, though dividing lines are difficult to draw. 'Dag' is a combination of 'Kecak' and 'Kebyar', performed from the squatting position in a pantomime style very popular with children. Attention is focused on the facial expressions of the dancers which interpret man's ever-changing moods. 'King Rama' - the story of the 'Kecak' (monkey) dance is taken from the Hindu Ramayana epic and portrays Rama'a search for his wife, Sita, who has been abducted to the monkey forest. Rama is an incarnation of Vishnu, The Creator, and serves as an ideal for the Hindu man. 'Ramayana ll' - the opening sequence of the gamelan acvcompaniment to the 4 part ballet held on the full moon-lit nights of June, July and August at Prambanan temple complex. The largest central temple is dedictade to Shiva, the destroyer. The voices that follow were recorded on a train at Bandung station at 3am, en route to Yogjakarta. Local sellers board trains whatever the hour, and every carriage becomes an indoor market.

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from Islands Inbetween, released January 1, 2012

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