In Bali, music is used for all occasions and ceremonies, religious or not. The importance of music is so great for the people of this small island that it is not possible to really differentiate, as in the West, between popular music and learned music. In fact, the whole of Balinese music is basically popular, although some forms of music are more rooted in everyday life than others. This CD presents some of these forms of music. The musical ensembles are different from regular gamelan ensembles, but use the same musical structures. The first piece, for example, is a tjak, a form of music unique to Bali created around 1928. Only voices are used as a kind of percussion instrument, the choir having between 100 and 200 singers. You also hear Balinese jew's harp; an ensemble of only bamboo instruments; a suling duet (the suling being a small bamboo flute); and an excerpt of the music of a shadow play, the Wayang Kulit. An excellent CD.
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AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes