The Gamelan of the Walking Warriors :
Gamelan Beleganjur and the Music of the Ngaben Funerary Ritual in Bali
A fascinating immersion in the heart of a funeral ceremony live recorded in Bali, where gongs, cymbals, and drums give rhythm to the bewitching atmosphere of this mortuary procession.
The international audience’s interest into Balinese music and its gamelan orchestras dates back to the edition of large ethnographic series in the 1950s, 60s and 70s which largely encouraged the discovery of this music beyond Indonesia’s borders. Taking advantage of a more advanced technology compared to the vinyl golden era, the present field recordings produced in 2011 render at the closest the power of gamelans. They are presented here in two forms. The first one offers a display of Beleganjur music out of the ritual context, which can be differentiated by a more melodic form and a more dramatic and hypnotic aspect of the compositions. The second one presents the Beleganjur style in the ceremonial context of the Ngaben funerary rite in the village of Peliatan. The utmost vitality of these orchestras springs out throughout the different stages of these funerals, and the sound environment surrounding the musicians immerse the listener in the very heart of the procession following the corpse.
With The Gamelan of The Walking Warriors, Akuphone carries on its exploration of ritual and ceremonial music with those materials of rare intensity. These recordings were collected by Vincenzo Della Ratta, PhD in Ethnomusicology from the Sapienza University (Rome). As a specialist of the gongs music from the Austronesian cultures of Southeast Asia, Della Ratta is the author of numerous articles on the subject. His field researches have already been edited as a vinyl entitled Kwangkay: Funerary Music Of The Dayak Benuaq Of Borneo (Sublime Frequencies, 2016).
released August 5, 2017
Recorded in Bali by Vincenzo Della Ratta, 2011.
Produced by Akuphone, 2017.