For many musicians, Bali is still the last paradise on Earth; their music shows an unsurpassed originality and creativeness. Still today, new pieces are being composed by Balinese composers for the different existing ensembles. This CD, produced and recorded by American ethnomusicologist David Lewiston, gives us an overview of the large variety in Balinese music, of the different types of gamelan ensembles. The first piece is the music of the opening parade of the Bali Arts Festival on June 1987 (a festival taking place in June and July of every year on the island). You hear recently created ensembles, styles, and pieces as well as older ones. Among the recent musical creations of Balinese are the kecak, a type of rhythmic vocal play with short and percussive words which are used for trance dance. This type of singing, which came to life in the 1930s, is found only in Bali and is sung exclusively by men. Quite possibly one of the best Balinese CDs available!
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AllMusic Review by Bruno Deschênes