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Rich Musical Echoes of the Past

Reconstructed From Early Recordings, Rare Gamelan Performance Slated for Denpasar on Thursday, October 8, 2009.

(10/5/2009) As part of the 3-day Maha Bandana commemoration of mass ritual suicide (Puputan) before Dutch troops that took place in downtown Denpasar in 1906, the Mekar Bhuana gamelan orchestra has been asked to present a public concert at Puputan Square on Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 5:00 p.m..

The gamelan performance will precede a late afternoon parade marking the sacred Puputan and will showcase two different original styles from Denpasar: Banjar Pagan Kelod and Banjar Titih.

Seldom heard and almost extinct from Bali's cultural memory, the performance has been lovingly reconstructed based upon oldest known recordings of semar pegulingan.

Between Deng, Dung and Dang

Chosen for re-performance is the Tabuh Ginanti first performed by the group from Banjar Titih, a banjar located on Jalan Sumatra in Denpasar. The explosion of the kebyar style from Bali's north, saw the gamelan set used in the 1928 recording melted down in 1952. The vintage recording that inspires the coming performance is taken from is the compilation of Balinese music that originally inspired Colin McPhee to travel to Bali in the 1930s to study Balinese gamelan. The brilliant musician and musicologist was seduced by the scale of the semar pegulingan from Titih, causing McPhee to comment: "It is a scale of indescribably tonal beauty, remarkable for the unusual minor third occurring between deng and dung and the resulting near major second found between dung and dang."

Painstakingly notated from the crackling old recording, the musicians of Mekar Bhuana have worked diligently to present a faithful presentation of a musical form little hear in Bali for nearly 60 years.

The special performance by Mekar Bhuana will be followed by a several dance performances.

Rare Performance of the Tabuh Gianti a Gamelan Composition in the Banjur Titih Tradition

Performed by the Mekar Bhuana Gamelan Orchestra

Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.

Puputan Square, Renon, Denpasar, Bali.