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Featured Releases

  • This seminal album, inducted into the National Recording Registry in 2007, showcases the many beautiful musical styles found in Bali, which in its small area (only 2,147 square miles) contains a cornucopia of artistic wealth.

  • An overview of all 13 of the Explorer Series albums from Indonesia and the South Pacific and featuring an assortment of musics from throughout the region, these 15 tracks illuminate one of the world’s richest sources of musical creativity in all its bracing variety.

  • While the first album in this three-part series focuses on the gamelan style of the Paku Alaman court, this second features that of the Mangkunegaran court, from the city of Surakarta, capturing two famous gamelans, Kyai Udan Arum and Kyai Kanyut Mesem, the latter considered by many to be the most beautiful gamelan in all of Java.

  • This third installment of the Court Gamelan series focuses on the Kraton Yogyakarta, where the Yogyanese style is preserved in its most traditional form. The selections here draw from a wide range of purposes, including processional pieces for the arrival and departure of the sultan, accompaniment for dance dramas, and music for classical solo female dance.

  • Jasmine and the exotic, subtle sounds of the gamelan are inextricably linked in the life of Java, Indonesia's most populous isle: at religious ceremonies, at the theater, in popular entertainment. The rich, intricate texture of the Javanese gamelan stands in sharp contrast to the extrovert brilliance of gamelan gong kebjar from neighboring Bali.

  • One of the oldest forms of dramatic art in Bali is the shadow play, or wayang, in which epic stories are told using the shadows of leather puppets projected onto a cloth screen. The plays are accompanied by gendèrs, percussion instruments made from bronze keys suspended over bamboo tube resonators. Captured here are some of the principle pieces one might hear in a typical play.

  • In the late 1970s, a revolutionary new style of popular music and dance emerged in Indonesia. Called Jaipongan, it featured dance movements that were both erotic and humorous, and the accompanying music was dominated by exuberant, highly dynamic drumming. The selections on this record feature the singer Idjah Hadidjah, accompanied by Jugala musicians.

  • Recorded in 1987, this album captures the rich Balinese gamelan tradition at a crossroads. While the traditional music and accompanying shadow puppet shows still thrived, younger conservatory-trained musicians had become aware of a broad spectrum of musical possibilities. The tracks heard here, a mix of traditional and more recent pieces, show how gamelan absorbed newer influences while maintaining its unmistakable character.

  • This is the first in a three-part series documenting the Indonesian gamelan tradition of the four princely courts of the neighboring cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. While the cities were once intense stylistic rivals, intermarriage between formerly competing political families kindled exchange between them, resulting in the sound that is now associated with the Paku Alaman court featured here.

  • Nowhere is the richness of Balinese art more evident than in this glittering music, which uses a 25-piece gamelan of metallophones, gongs, cymbals, drums, and flutes. The relatively new style of gamelan gong kebjar changed the form radically: kebjar, literally meaning to burst into flame, refers to the free virtuosic passages interspersed with traditional forms.