Bali: Golden Rain (Nonesuch Explorers Series, 1969)


Nick: it’s sort of….it sounds like Gamelan music.

it is.

oh really? ok I thought Gamelan was much slower.

this is high speed, break-neck Gamelan.

are you sure?

it sounds less resonant.

oh it slows down here….

ah they must’ve heard me, off they go again.

it’s interesting as a novelty, but because of the lack of variation in the sound…and there’s no melodic variation either, it gets boring.

it’s boring me.

it’s almost like a fancy doorbell constantly ringing, now they’re getting impatient.

well, the next piece is pretty different.

I wait with baited breath.

I have heard real Indonesian Gamelan that is more interesting than this, I have to say.

what makes this not real? and not Indonesian?

the rhythms…..

yeah basically the rhythms.

but this was recorded in Indonesia, by Indonesians, in 1969.

well, even if this is really Indonesian people and a real traditional Gamelan orchestra they’ve been heavily influenced by western music.

but….surely this would’ve been one of the first Gamelan recordings to find a large audience? I dunno.

oh no no no, by ’69 Holland had already lost Indonesia.

what’s that got to do with anything?

well, I can remember people having recordings of Gamelan stuff long before that.

I’m going to look it up.

{track 3 – Ketjak: The Ramayana Monkey Chant}

very rhythmic again.

I like this better than the Gamelan stuff.

again it suffers from the same thing as the stuff we did the other day.

it needs something to go with it, a balletic performance or something because as a piece of music it doesn’t really hold up.

maybe I’m too much of a visual person but I can actually see them performing, they’re crouched down on the stage with sticks or something, acting threatening.

remember that CD-ROM I sent you from Bangkok? with the pictures of the mural going around the palace?

oh yes.

that mural tells the same story as this…

aha so I was right!


well, I mean in the sense that this should have a visual performance to go with it.

oh is it over?


so it’s quite short.

no, it’s 22 minutes long.

really!? that is quite surprising.

I got this a few years ago when I worked in Virgin Megastore and they had a €1.99 clear out, I bought a load of stuff that I normally wouldn’t’ve, it was awesome.

listen & learn


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