Gamelan Of Central Java / Ix: Songs Of Wisdom And Love
Album: Ix: Songs Of Wisdom And Love   Collection:World
Artist:Gamelan Of Central Java   Added:Apr 2007

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Add Date: 2008-04-20 Pull Date: 2008-06-22 Charts: Reggae/World
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Kodok Ngorer

Album Review
Professor Barnaby J. Finkerton
Reviewed 2008-04-04
Gamelan Of Central Java IX - Songs Of Wisdom And Love
Gamelan Kaduk Manis Manis Kengga

Features the Indonesian gamelan, a multi-part set of instruments with an island feel. Includes xylophone, drums, gongs, and bamboo flutes, with overlaid male and female vocals. Very delicate, but at the same time intricate arrangements. 9th in a series, highlighting various aspects of gamelan music. The names before the tracks refer to the type of track. Much of it is sung poetry, the beautiful text of which is included in the CD booklet. The names refer to specific rhythmic and vocal nuances present on the various tracks, as well as different collections of instruments. A very listenable CD, with a compelling back-story and even more compelling sound. Soft, light, airy, like the chirping of birds, the tropical forest comes out in the background of these songs.

1. Male and female engage in sung discussion over clock-like regularity of gong in background. Entrancing arrangement that sets the tone of the piece, a light, relaxing ocean.
2. Unaccompanied female vocals sing a winding and enigmatic melody that is both somewhat haunting and yet very approachable.
*3. Drums, flutes, gongs, and wooden xylophones accompany the same female vocalist. Instruments operate freely of singer, yet flush out the sound of before. Somewhat cacophonous, but not jarringly so.
4. Another unaccompanied piece, really showcasing the vocal clarity of the language and the ability of the female singer to capture this. A nice, slower break from the previous.
*5. Begins the exact way as song 3, but male vocals intervene and the conversation from (1) resumes. Several men converse with the one woman, an elaborate vocal dance that winds, twists, and builds and falls in intensity. Vocals stop and allow for extended instrumentation at 7:25.
6. Lightly accompanied female vocals. Some harp, mostly light xylophone. The language is the real instrument of these several tracks, a beautifully enunciated wonder.
7. Begins in standard way, instruments continue to diverge from vocal melody, but in a way that is not discordant.
*8. Female vocals slightly higher than before, on track with softer xylophonic melody, reminiscent of a fairy tale.
9. Shorter track, with light accompaniment, highlighting female tones once more, higher pitch again.
10. Female vocals intertwine with male, in a slightly more animated pace. Constant gonging.
*11. Starts differently than the rest, a kind of numbing softness. Sounds like a short mother to son fairy tale
12. Fuller, deeper sound than before, male vocals initiate a sort of subtle moaning, at once both desperate and calming. Near bare accompaniment.
13. Return of female vocalist, meandering gong and xylophone combo. Older woman talks to younger for some duration.
14. Stringed instruments make their first major appearance, as do bass drums. Slow, punctuated tone brings the rest of the CD together. Longest track by far, slows near end, no sound for the last 15 seconds.

Track Listing
1. Kodok Ngorer   8. Sinom
2. Megatruh   9. Khinanthi
3. Megatruh   10. Durma
4. Pngkur   11. Gambuh
5. Pangkur With Dolanan   12. Pusparaga
6. Dhandhanggula   13. Pathetn Ageng
7. Maskumambang   14. Duradasih