Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Folkways' Music of Indonesia II

As promised, today a little more about Folkways Records' Music of Indonesia series, this time Volume 2. As with the previously discussed first volume (see below) these are pretty early recordings as far as what was available in the USA on LP. I believe this was released in 1961. The actual recordings are from an earlier time, the '50s?

Volume two has three interesting cuts of traditional music from Sumatra, one from Ambon, the rest from Bali. The latter selections are more or less standard traditional Gamelan, with excerpts of the Barong Dance and some all metallophone cremation music. It's not a comprehensive introduction, but it's a fine set of extracts. The Sumatran cuts show some of the lesser known sounds of the region, duets for a kind of stringed lute and a double reed instrument. The Ambon selection has a different sort of chamber Gamelan sound. It's all worthwhile and as a download or CD-Rom copy, the price is right. You can grab this or any of the many Indonesian music releases at the Smithsonian Folkways website.

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