This is the first of a three volume series featuring Balinese music and is part of a larger body of music from the largest Islamic country in the world, Indonesia.
Jegog is played most frequently for entertainment although
it occasionally accompanies religious ceremonies. The orchestra
has a total range of five octaves, requiring up to twenty musicians
make up of two main instrument groups, the core melody instruments
and the elaborating instruments. The core melody is played on several
lower octave instruments. In a dramatic presentation, an evening's
performance involving jegog will include several dance pieces,
in which case several rhythmic instruments are added to the ensemble.
Some of the dance forms utilize movements taken directly from the
Indonesian martial arts called pencak.
Jegog instruments are made from the trunks of the enormous bamboo found in west Bali, featuring eight bamboo tubes which are arranged in a row and placed on a usually colorful and elaborately carved frame. To produce sound, the tubes are struck with rubber mallets. Each instrument has eight keys covering two octaves of the fourtone scale.
Jegog is also played during the annual water buffalo race, as heard on track two Amuknama (Driving the Water Buffalo), which is held in Negara, West Bali, and to accompany folk songs. Tracks one and three are traditional opening and closing jegog songs.
Recorded in a Balinese temple, Pura Penataran, at Laplapan, a village near Ubud, Bali, producer David Parsons introduces Western listeners to the uniqueand virtually unknownstyles of music from the isles of paradise, Bali. In this first recording, he captures the traditional Jegog musicfour-tone gamelannamed after the most characteristic and unusual instrument of the ensemble, the enormous bass marimbas called jegogan.
As music is traditionally learned communally in village music clubs, the majority of the musicians who participate also hold other occupations. The club organizes rehearsals and the instruments are usually the property of the village. Specific regions, villages and groups have become famous for specializing in certain types of music, dance, or theater. Swara Cipta Priyanti is associated with west Bali where the bamboo grows to enormous size. The principal musicians of the ensemble are I Gusti Wiarta, I Nyoman Urip, I Made Japa, and I Wayan Tirta.
Celestial Harmonies' catalogue of Indonesian recordings include: