A javanese gamelan in italy Un gamelan giavanese in italia yantra productions musica coniuncta central java  
montebello gamelan
 
 
 
 
 
YANTRA PRODUCTIONS
 
This is the “label” under which projects and recordings are collected in audio CD format, both as private limited editions and as productions of traditional music published by commercial record companies. In the latter case, YANTRA operates on a non-profit basis, which means that after recovering direct costs (essentially musicians, sessions, mastering) the possible net income is redistributed to the musicians that contributed to the recordings.
   
For questions on private recordings write to: john.noise.manis@gamelan.it

For details on published recordings visit: www.yantrasoundproductions.org
and    www.gamelan.to  (with samples)

Following is a list of YANTRA CDs. When not entirely devoted to gamelan music, these discs contain at least some kind of reference to the world of gamelan.
 
PRIVATE RECORDINGS
98-01
Circa September 2, 1997
   
This collection is related to the name cut in the grass of Montebello
99-6/7
Gamelan at Montebello
 
A selection of pieces, both traditional and experimental, played during a week in September 1999 on the gamelan Kaduk Raras Raras Sari in and around its pendopo. Main guest players: four young musicians from Yogyakarta - Hartono, Ngatiman, Nugroho, Mbak Yayan (also dancer) - Daniel Wolf, three young ladies from Kulturkontakt Koeln - Brigitta, Hilli, Lydia - and vocalist Laura Conti
99-09
Impermanenza
 
Thirtyone pebbles of wisdom collected and recited by Floriana Bossi (in Italian). Sound project by John Noise Manis
00-01
Sibille
   
Sounds and texts (in Latin and Italian) set by John Noise Manis around thirty names of ancient Sybils
 
00-03
Occasional Partners (Musica Coniuncta I)
Ligeti-Stockhausen, Sciarrino-nightingale, Feldman-Part, Webern-Cage, Ives-Cage, Partch-D’India, Partch-Sahara, Riley-Partch, Crumb-Cage, Piazzolla-Gregoriano, Lalermenggeng-Cage, Cage-Cage, Bawa-Crumb, Bach-Africanvoices
00-09
The Java Connection (Musica Coniuncta II)
    Nyi Cendaniraras of Surakarta sings macapat Pangkur with Barber, Mahler, Satie, Skempton, and Cage; Rainy Gamelan Dream (with Feldman), Danaraja and Scelsi
01-01
Mostly Mild Trances (Musica Coniuncta III)
  Airport Strawinsky, Apollo Waiting, Catharral Winds at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Third Ear Bingen, WagnerengaW, A Little Unanswered Question, Uyghurfeldman, Sekaten in Memoriam, Gongsaron-Feldman, Gongselonding-Cage, Kecakcage, Brian-Cage-Feldman, Hassell-Scelsi, Anderson-Satoh-Scelsi
01-03
The Tempered Gamelan (and Some Gamelaned Temperament)
   
Javanese sounds and scales for Western classical music. Goldbach 9 and 23, Scarlatti 33, Not Quite 111, Nuages, Et la Lune, Pendopos, Farbenschoenberg, Zwei Webernbagatellen, Ives’ FAQ, But I Love Pergolesi, Bachantata 78
01-04
Montebello Gamelan
   
A one-disc selection from the ‘99 sessions played on the gamelan Kaduk Raras Raras Sari (latest version: June ‘03)
01-09
A Javanese Soundscape
   
A musical journey through sacred, popular, artistic events in Central Java. Field recordings 1995-2000. Ample notes (currently in Italian)
01-11
17 Poesie di Floriana Bossi
   
The 1960-70 poignant poetic production of Floriana Bossi recited by herself (in Italian). Sound project by John Noise Manis
02-01
Warna Suara Warna Laras
   
The nine stanzas of Ketawang Puspa Warna, a well-known Javanese piece, variously “orchestrated” on a sequencer in studio and played in turn in the tuning of 19 famous and less famous gamelans
02-02
Gamelan of a Lifetime
   
Reconstructing the historical Philips LP recording of 1963 - Gendhing Tukung and Gendhing Kombang Mara - with recent recordings made in 1996, 1999, and 2000 on the original gamelan of Kraton Surakarta
02-03
Gamelan Vocal Duet
   
A special rendition of two beautiful gendhings - Kombang Mara and Mandulpati - with the addition in studio of a second vocal part. Nyi Cendaniraras, gamelan Kaduk Manis Manis Rengga. Recordings made in Surakarta in 2000
03-01
24 Haiku e la 18a Poesia
   
More recitation by Floriana Bossi with sounds of the Group of the Impermanence
03-02
Ancient Gamelan Primeval Voices (Musica Coniuncta IV)
   
Sekaten and other ritual gamelan formations meet Cante Jondo Flamenco, Southern Italian religious chants, and Cage, Part, Scelsi, Redolfi
03-03
Ascoltando
   
A philosophical/musical conversation by Guido Brivio di Bestagno (in Italian)
04-01
10 Poesie di Floriana Bossi
   
Third collection of poems by F. B. Sound project by John Noise Manis
05-01
A Library of the Sounds of the Montebello Gamelan
   
This CD assembles all the sounds of the pelog-slendro gamelan 'Kaduk Raras Raras Sari' in 94 tracks and 77'47". Non-percussion instruments, namely rebab and suling, are excluded. Included are specially built 12-tone equal tempered instruments (gender, 3 octaves; saron, 3 octaves; bonang, 4 octaves) and one lithophone (20 natural "found" tones, plus 3 octaves of electronically tuned equal tempered tones).
05-02
Bach&Gamel 1
   

A thought-and-pleasure-provoking compilation.
The pairing of pieces:
(1) Prelude Book I no 4  (2) Pathetan pelog for gender
(3) Buka from Ldr Gadhung Mlati  (4) Prelude Book II no 1
(5) Art of Fugue Contrapunctus 3  (6) A 'thinned' Gnd Tukung
(7) Excerpt Gnd Duradasih Bedaya  (8) Mass in B minor Credo
(9) Passio Matt Aria 'Erbarne dich'  (10) Excerpt Gnd Laler Menggeng
(11) Brandenburg Concerto V Affettuoso  (12) Ktw Langen Gita Srinarendra (13) Ktw Suba Kastawa  (14) Brandenburg Concerto II Andante
(15) Ktw Pangkur Ngrenas for gender  (16) Goldberg Variation 21
(17) Goldberg Variation 25  (18) Pathetan pelog lima for gender
(19) Art of Fugue Contrapunctus 1  (20) Excerpt Gnd Danaraja

05-03
Bach&Gamel 2
   
Ever thought of an Eastern Bach?
The sequence of pieces:
(1) Allemande - French Suite no 4  (2) Ktw Puspa Warna  (3) Invention      3-part B-minor  (4) Gnd Mandulpati sesegan  (5) Sarabande - French Suite no 1  (6) Gnd Dhenggung Turulare  (7) Sarabande - French Suite no 2 
(8) Macapat Gambuh  (9) Sarabande - French Suite no 3  (10) Gnd Kembang Gempol  (11) Invention 3-part E-flat major  (12) Macapat Khinanthi  (13) Sarabande - French Suite no 4  (14) Gnd Babar Layar 
(15) Sarabande - Cello Suite no 3  (16) Grimingan slendro  (17) Invention
3-part D minor  (18) Ktw Puspa Warna (Montebello)
 
 
PUBLISHED RECORDINGS

Gamelan of Central Java - I. Classical Gendings   FELMAY fy 8041 (2001)
Anglirmendung, Tunggul Kawung, Danaraja. Nyi Cendaniraras. Musicians of STSI Surakarta. Recorded in 2001. Booklet in English
Gamelan of Central Java - II. Ceremonial Music   FELMAY fy 8042 (2002)
Sekaten gendings played on the two sacred Gamelan Sekati of Kraton Surakarta. Munggang, Kodok Ngorek, Carabalen played on the dedicated gamelans of Istana Mangkunegaran. Recorded in 2001 and 1996. Booklet in English

GAMELAN OF CENTRAL JAVA (3 CD set)
ARION arn 64629 (2003)
Vol. I - Flowers including Puspa Warna (9 stanzas), Kembang Gempol, Kembang Mara, Sekar Gadhung. Critical review by Bapak Sumarsam
Vol. II - The Meditative Gender including gamelan gadhon (reduced) and solo pieces that come close to the spiritual side of Javanese music. Review and discussion on male/female gender playing by Dr Sarah Weiss
Vol. III - Colours including an unusual collection of pieces that highlight the individual character of the instruments of the gamelan
Various performers including Nyi Cendaniraras, Ibu Pringga Hadiwiyono, Sri Djoko Raharjo, Sri Hartono, and the musicians of STSI Surakarta. Recordings 2000-2002

Gamelan of Central Java - III. Modes and Timbres
FELMAY fy 8073 (2004)

A programme aimed at presenting the range of musical modes and timbral qualities of the gamelan. To this end, some pieces are presented in non-traditional instrument formations. The booklet includes a note on aesthetic issues, Western vs. Javanese, and a critical review by Pak Joko Purwanto. Recorded in 2003

Gamelan of Central Java - IV. Spiritual Music
FELMAY fy 8074 (2004)

Approaching the Javanese way “to make the heart receptive and to create a desire for unity with God”. Ladrang Turun Sih with azan (call to prayer). Two studio performances of Rambu and Rangkung (Sekaten gendhing). Mijil Ludira and Mijil Dhempel (gendhing kemanak with male chorus). Musicians of STSI Surakarta. Booklet commentary by Dr Daniel Wolf. Recorded in 2003
Gamelan from Central Java ARC Music eucd 1902 (2005)
A varied programme including different styles and expressions, ceremonial and concert pieces, from ancient to modern. Anglirmendung, Gadhung Mlati, Mandulpati, Munggang, Carabalen, Kodok Ngorek. Performers include Nyi Umi Hartono, Nyi Cendaniraras, musicians of STSI Surakarta, Laura Conti, members of the Group of the Impermanence. Programme closes with “Lebaran”, a composition by Joko Purwanto performed at York University (England) in 1989. Other recordings 1999-2004

Gamelan of Central Java - V. Gaya Yogyakarta FELMAY fy 8075 (2005) Presenting the style ("gaya") of the other ancient capital of Central Java. Recording made at RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia) Yogyakarta. It includes portions of a regular broadcast programme (Uyon-Uyon Monosuko) and two large gendhing bonang: Unduk and Tukung. The booklet commentary is in the form of an interview with an outstanding Javanese musician originally from Yogya - Bapak Hardja Susilo.
Gamelan of Central Java - VI. Kraton Surakarta FELMAY fy 8103 (2005)
This volume in the Felmay series tries to recreate and update the music and the setting of a landmark LP recording of more than forty years ago - Gendhing Kombang Mara and Gendhing bonang Tukung (plus Gendhing bonang Danaraja) played on the gamelan Kaduk Manis Manis Rengga. The booklet notes include short and unusual commentaries by four different writers non-expert in gamelan, who bring their aesthetic, philosophic, and simple listener's contributions.
Gamelan of Central Java - VII. Edge of Tradition FELMAY fy 8104 (2005)
Within tradition, but rather at the edges. Gendhing Parisuka, by the karawitan master Martopangrawit, with its 3/4 tempo. A rekreasi version of Gendhing Kombang Mara with a pesindhen duet and texts from macapat poetry. Gendhing bonang Glendheng with its unusual melodic syncopations. The well-known Puspa Warna preceded by its rare version in pelog scale. Translation of Javanese texts curated by Rosella Balossino with counselling from Ken Kendro. Critical review by Sumarsam.
Gamelan of Central Java - VIII. Court Music Treasures FELMAY fy 8119 (2006) This volume complements the content of the previous 'VI. Kraton Surakarta'. Five more gendhing are presented as recorded during an exceptional session at Kraton Kasunanan, where musicians of STSI Surakarta and Kraton musicians played the gamelan Kaduk Manis Manis Rengga. Exquisitely performed, the programme includes such classics as Gambir Sawit, Dhenggung Turulare, Mandulpati, and Pangkur bedhayan. The booklet commentary is written by Bp Sumarsam.
Gamelan of Central Java - IX. Songs of Wisdom and Love FELMAY fy 8120 (2006) This volume is devoted to sung forms. Macapat, bawa, palaran, dolanan, sulukan, and bedhayan chorus are represented. Even the archaic Kodok Ngorek features here intriguing sung parts. Translation of all Javanese texts is curated by Rosella Balossino, with decisive help from Javanese resources. The commentary is by Sumarsam, followed by an unusual essay on Javanese music viewed from a Western conceptual and aesthetic point of view.
Gamelan of Central Java - X. Sindhen Trio FELMAY fy 8144 (2008)
The musical innovation introduced with the Kombang Mara for two pesindhen (volume VII of this series) is further developed here with the re-writing of the well-known Gendhing Budheng-Budheng for three female vocal parts. Pak Suraji accomplished the task remarkably well. Another unusual vocal work, Ladrang Kembang Kacang, and the only known Gending gender, Sawung Galing, complete this release. The booklet includes an interview with the master musician and composer Rahayu Supanggah.
Gamelan of Central Java - XI. Music of Remembrance FELMAY fy 8145 (2008)
Here is a programme that tries to approach the Javanese notion of a music suitable for commemorating the dead. It is beautiful music, and the collection includes a special version of Gendhing Laler Menggeng recorded by a Javanese gadhon group at Montebello in 1999. All texts of the sung portions have been translated in the booklet, and a short essay by the composer Nicola Campogrande is also included.
A Javanese Gamelan Sound Library SARGASSO slcd 001 (2008)
This is the public release of a collection of the percussive sounds of the Montebello gamelan – Kaduk Raras pelog, Raras Sari slendro. The collection includes also the sounds of Javanese-built genders, sarons, and bonang in the 12-tone Western chromatic scale. All sounds, just over 500 in number, are natural and untreated. The booklet provides detailed info on the instruments, sound characteristics, tuning, and track list contents.
Gamelan of Java - One. Kraton Kasunanan LYRICHORD lyrcd 7456 (2009)
This is the first volume in a new series of recordings curated and produced by John Noise Manis for the well-known American label. The obligatory setting to start the new collection is the home of what is considered the most refined gamelan playing style and most beautiful sound. Two Gendhing bonang, Babar Layar pelog and Laya slendro played on Kyai Kaduk Manis and Manis Rengga, frame the central piece of stunning beauty, the Ketawang bedhayan Duradasih played on Kyai Lokananta.
Gamelan of Java - Two. Contemporary Composers LYRICHORD lyrcd 7457 (2009)
The second Lyrichord release is devoted to present day compositions. Six works, commissioned by John Noise Manis, were created by Solonese musicians, all faculty members of ISI Surakarta. They are Al Suwardi, Darno Kartawi, Joko Purwanto, Prasadiyanto, Sri Harta, and Supardi. Each composition explores a different style, variations of classical forms, varying use of instruments both traditional and newly invented. But the diverse languages complement each other and manage to offer, as a whole, a “suara warna”, an appealing musical bouquet.

Gamelan of Java - Three. Yogyakarta  LYRICHORD lyrcd 7458 (2009)
The third Lyrichord CD curated and produced by John Noise Manis moves to the other ancient capital of Java, Yogyakarta.  The differences in the traditional musical styles of Surakarta and Yogyakarta may be easily appreciated if the listener compares the present CD with Volume One in the series, particularly as the same beautiful Gendhing Babar Layar appears in both CDs. The setting of the performance here recorded is a cultural landmark in Yogya: the pendopo of the late Pak Cokro, the renowned and revered master of gamelan. And the mid-program piece is in fact one of the many compositions written by the great musician. We leave it to another master of Javanese gamelan, Pak Hardja Susilo, the task to comment on the music of this CD
.

Gamelan of Java - Four. Puspa Warna LYRICHORD lyrcd xxxx (2010)

Puspa Warna, the music that was sent into space with the Voyager, is presented in two long performances with different interpretations and internal ensemble variations. Also Sekar Gadhung  is presented in two different renditions allowing the two pesindhen (female singers) to compete for excellency. In middle position in the programme is the rarely-heard mystique-bound Gadhung Mlati, sung by a third outstanding pesindhen.

The liner notes include contributions by Bapak Sumarsam and Dr Sarah Weiss. The full notes in the PDF file expand on the subject of variations occurring in actual performances by Javanese musicians.

Gamelan of Java - Five. Cirebon Tradition in America LYRICHORD lyrcd xxxx (2010)

Most recordings of Javanese gamelan have thus far centered on Surakarta and Yogyakarta in south central Java. But there is another, earlier style of Javanese music that is little known: the traditional music of Cirebon. Even the most seasoned lovers of Javanese gamelan might be surprised at what they hear in this CD. All five of the classical Cirebon genres are represented, performed by Gamelan Sinar Surya, a dedicated American ensemble that effectively helps keep that tradition alive. The GSS director, Richard North, illustrates in the liner notes the well thought-out and most enjoyable programme presented.

Gamelan of Central Java - XII. Pangkur One  FELMAY fy 8166 (2010)

In the Javanese classical repertoire Pangkur denotes a music that can take many forms. From the original group of macapat (sung poetry) there are various other forms which are derived from or connected to Pangkur, such as ladrang, ketawang, palaran, court dances. Pangkur can be rendered in both the pelog and slendro scales and in almost all of the six pathets. It may also convey a broad range of moods according to gamelan formation and musicians’ garap (treatments). This first of two CDs devoted to such versatile musical theme presents the larger form (ladrang) in the full gamelan formation. Bapak Sumarsam writes the authoritative liner notes. Translation of the texts is the responsibility of Rosella Balossino.

Gamelan of Central Java - XIII. Pangkur Two  FELMAY fy 8167 (2010)

The second Pangkur CD is devoted to the reduced gamelan formation called gadhon, literally ‘side dishes’ (compared to the ‘main courses’ of Pangkur One). These ‘smaller’ pieces are not at all less worthwhile and enjoyable, and in fact they offer interesting variations and true musical gems. Also, the macapat (sung poetry), which are at the roots of the compositions, are presented and the connections illustrated by Bapak Sumarsam in his commentary. Translation of the texts was the responsibility of Rosella Balossino.

Gamelan of Central Java - XIV. Ritual Sounds of Sekaten  FELMAY fy 8168 (2010)

Following the tracks included in Volume II of the Felmay series, here are three more outstanding examples of the powerful music played during the important Sekaten religious celebration in Central Java.  Guntur Madu (Thunder of Honey) is the name of the two principal gamelan Sekati in Surakarta and Yogyakarta. We hear them play the same ancient composition, with fascinating contrasts between the two remarkable performances. The third piece presented is even more unusual music in the gamelan panorama, using voices and frame drums of Arabic origin (terbang or rebana). The liner notes tell about the misty pre-Islamic origin and the Sufi connotations of these musics; they also include a fresh commentary by Philip Corner.

Trance Gamelan in Bali  FELMAY fy 8169 (2010)

This is a one-off departure from the music of Java and an exploration of the fascinating music of Balinese temple ceremonies. By using the word 'trance' in our title we take the general Western view of a music that uses repetitive patterns and that we imagine have the potential to induce altered states of consciousness. As Wayne Vitale has remarked, in its essential spiritual meaning music for the Balinese is an Offering – not only in the obvious context of odalan (temple ceremonies) but often also in other performance situations that may be seen as secular. Although we are unable to fathom the depths and complexity of Balinese beliefs and aesthetics, we are still able to enjoy the trance-like atmospheres that suffuse the religious performances recorded here from three different situations.

The booklet commentary was written by Daniel Patrick Quinn.

Endah Laras and Dedek Gamelan Orchestra  Felmay fy 8179 (2011)

Another departure from the classical tradition of Central Java. The discovery of an incredibly versatile and outstanding voice – made by John Noise Manis while attending rehearsals in Solo of the theatrical version of 'Opera Jawa' by Garin Nugroho.  Endah Laras commands many styles, and they are all represented in this CD: from Banyuwangi (East Java) to Sunda (West Java), from Central Javanese classics to the hybrid kroncong of post-colonial times. And including Endah's own soulful solo songs.  Noteworthy are the arrangements and gamelan accompaniments by Dedek Wahyudi, a musician that fills an interesting place in present-day Javanese music scene.

Gamelan of Central Java – XV.  Returning Minimalism: In Nem  Felmay fy 8181 (2011)

If it were not for the steady 'pulse'  (which Steve Reich suggested to add to Terry Riley's 'In C' just before the 1964 première)  these three 20-minute pieces could sound like normal gamelan compositions, though outside of the classical forms. They are in fact Central Javanese versions (three selected ones from a number of sessions) of Riley's landmark work considered the beginning of minimalist music (in America).  The semi-improvisational working and the use of 'phrases' or 'modules' repeated at will are respected.  The eight musicians of ISI Surakarta did cooperate bravely and cleverly in this musical project that John Noise Manis had conceived since 1999. Daniel Quinn was present at and supervised the actual recording sessions. He writes an in-depth chronicle in the CD booklet, which also includes comments by the Javanese musicians and a somewhat provocative essay by Philip Corner.

Returning Minimalism – Taruna Mekar and Cudamani of Bali  Vital Records 444  (2011)

Two brilliant Balinese musicians, I Made Arnawa and I Dewa Putu Berata, with the virtuosic players from their gamelanensembles, took on a unusual challenge: to create new pieces inspired by Terry Riley’s groundbreaking 1964  'In C', a founding work of minimalism. In the process, the artists confront ideas of freedom and constraint, individual vs. group, and regard the interactive nature of music performance in a new light. Their work, and the reverberations of cultural ideas that arose within it, are described in extended notes by Wayne Vitale. 'Returning Minimalism' is the continuation of a project by John Noise Manis, and follows the Central Javanese sessions he released in recordings featuring other outstanding Indonesian gamelan musicians.

Returning Minimalism – Semara Ratih of Bali  Sargasso scd28074  (2013)
This album is the third production of a 'Returning Minimalism' project. The project was first taken to Java, where eight musicians of the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Surakarta were involved. The project was then taken to Bali for the first time, where musicians selected from two groups, from Tunjuk and Pengosekan, were involved. In 2012 musicians of the ensemble Gamelan Semara Ratih played the music, which is structured partly as an improvisation, modelled on Terry Riley’s 1964 piece “In C”. As Indonesian gamelan music is likely to have inspired Riley and other minimalist composers to a good extent, so these performances complete a cycle of influence, as envisioned in the project. The vibrant preparatory process culminating in the recording sessions is documented and makes enjoyable reading in the extensive liner notes written by Ken Worthy.

Gamelan Cage – Sanggar Ceraken of Bali  Sargasso scd28075  (2013)

It may be surprising that this project had not been undertaken before. The association of Balinese gamelan with certain works by John Cage – from a limited span of his creative life, that is, the 'prepared piano' period – produced astonishingly good musical results for us. And it turned out that, once done, the endeavour could indicate different possible interpretations of cultural meanings and aesthetic values along the East-West axis. This complexity is expounded by Andrew McGraw in the exhaustive liner notes. Andy carried out the crucial artistic coordination of the project and, together with I Madé Subandi, accomplished the arrangement of Cage's scores, helped in the difficult task by the incredible dexterity and enthusiasm of the very young musicians in Subandi's entourage. The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts provided an ideal setting for these recordings.

Gamelan of Central Java – 16. Ancient and New Minimalism  Yantra JNM04  (2014)

This release is strongly related to 'Gamelan of Central Java. XV - Returning Minimalism: In Nem'.  This previously released CD presented three (out of seven) sessions inspired by Terry Riley's landmark of minimalism – 'In C' – and performed by an 8-member group of outstanding Javanese musicians. The sessions took place at ISI Surakarta in 2009.  The liner notes of that CD include a chronicle of the sessions by Daniel Patrick Quinn, comments by the Javanese musicians, and an engaging essay by Philip Corner. Reading of such notes is strongly recommend to the owner/listener of the present release, which presents three more of the semi-improvised sessions that could not find place in the previous CD. Before them, we present three pieces that, conceptually, grew out of the 'In Nem' sessions, because some of the musicians wished to apply the 'style of minimalism' in a fully-compositional creation. Thus the 'Variations' on ancient (proto-minimalist!) ceremonial themes seemed to offer the coherent reward for the musicians' brave endeavour in the 'In Nem' challenge.

Gamelan of Central Java – 17. Kutut Manggung  Yantra JNM05  (2014)

The programme is centered on Gendhing Kutut Manggung, one of the best known and loved large compositions in the classical repertoire of Central Javanese gamelan music. For the rendition here presented, Bapak Suraji, one of the finest musicians and rebab players of Surakarta, was asked to revise and enlarge the gendhing so as to accommodate various gamelan styles of Java. Also, four pesindhen (female vocalists) were employed with individual parts ('in concertante'). Pak Raji accomplished a great feat with his 41-minute long rendition.

The rest of the programme includes Ladrang bonangan Siyem, with the national anthem of Siam incorporated, and Ladrang Semang bringing the flavour of the sacred Bedhaya dances in a reconstruction operated by Pak Raji.

Gamelan of Central Java – 18. Solo Music  Yantra JNM06  (2014)

In the 38 tracks of this release are distilled precious drops of the classical Javanese sung poetry – 'macapat' – and also some uncommon, emotively related semi-improvisations on instruments. Both the vocal and the instrumental pieces are solo performances. Musicians of ISI Surakarta cooperated in this musical collection featuring the eleven macapat, doubled in slendro and pelog, interspersed with short pieces for gender and for suling. The latter pieces follow and are inspired by some of the sung poems. In this way, the sequence of vocal stanzas – each a poetic microcosm – is made even more suggestive and reflective by the meditative mood of the solo instruments playing after the poems.  All texts of the twenty-two macapat (and of the one 'tembang tengahan') are included and translated in the liner notes. The booklet also carries extensive notes by Bapak Darsono and Rosella Balossino on the historic/literary background of macapat, and on the significance of this genre in Javanese aesthetics and spirituality.

Musica Coniuncta – Bach to Cage through Gamelan  Yantra JNM07  (2014)

The idea about 'musica coniuncta' originated more than thirty years ago, suggested by a serendipitous happening. Many years after the event I began to try intentional operations of the kind and saw that they could work. The accidental combination of recorded pieces of music that started it all involved two orchestral works:  the well-known “Lontano” by Ligeti and the lesser-known “Stop” by Stockhausen: it is presented as the last track in the programme. The other pieces are of a varied nature and atmosphere, but it will be noted that the gamelan is a connective in many of them.

Unstringing Beethoven – Yantra JNM08  (2014)

This is a one-off programme demonstrating what can happen to some of Beethoven's music – in particular, works for string quartets, trios, and quintets – if treated with a dj-like technique which I discovered in a unique serendipitous (again!) situation (a broken machine). The result is like having shredded music and stuttering sounds. But the final product works – if the listener is not a purist and does not call it blasphemy.

Gamelan Bali Modern – Yantra JNM09  (2014)

A programme of modern compositions and semi-improvisations, including two works by I Made Subandi, one 'Variations on Sekar Gadhung' by Gamelan Selonding Guna Winangun of Tenganan, and a creation by Gamelan Semar Pegulingan of Teges. Recordings of 2011 and 2012.

Gamelan Java Easy – Yantra JNM10  (2014)

A programme of 'light' and varied pieces. Appealing sonorities, humour in music, a Puccini melody arrangement, and the sound of 'ciblon' (water gamelan). Also, a multistyle rendition of gendhing bonang Tukung, where the traditional styles of Istana Mangkunegaran, Kraton Yogya, and Kraton Surakarta are played in successive gongan cycles.