Saturday, June 16, 2007

Eye | Land | View

(click on photo to enlarge)

By happenstance and serendipity, Mister Bijou came across these gamelan musicians who were sitting and playing in the shade of a low-spreading tree just off Bali's Sanur beach path one late afternoon. The locale, the sun-dappled shade, the dry warm wind coming in off the ocean, the rhythms and sounds of this gamelan sonic world: it was one of those perfect moments.

Besides, gamelan is such a spacey sound! It's no wonder the aural tonalities and textures of gamelan caused such a stir in Paris in 1889 and inspired and influenced the French composers Camille Saint-Saens and Claude Debussy.

(click on photo to enlarge)

But on Sunday, 10 June 2007, why were these musicians playing on rough ground adjacent to a dusty parking area overlooking the beach? It was, it seems, part of a Hindu cremation ceremony (version Balinese) -- there was a priest and a photo of the newly departed, but the deceased was absent, and there was no funeral pyre. The puzzle wasn't explained then and thus remains.

If there is a next trip, Mister Bijou will load up on large memory cards for the camera and take some video. For the time being, gamelan: youtube

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