Saturday, December 20, 2014

Suling gdé

Suling gdé player, Bali
16" x 12", oil on canvas
Today's painting has a lot in common with yesterday's. Like yesterday's it's painted on top of a seascape demo. It's a demo gone wrong though. It was fine after five minutes but more paint got smeared onto it, and more, and more, and more. Some of it was scraped off to allow an image to be painted on top. Here again the image does not illustrate the song very well. The song is Chalon Arang performed by a female singer is accompanied by a chorus and drumming. There is no 'suling gdé' (the bamboo flue in the picture) heard on this recording. Chalon Arang is track #22 of the LP The Columbia Library of Folk and Primitive Music, Vol. VII: Indonesia. The gdé player, instead is featured on track #21 Gamelan Gambuh. The data for both recordings are, however, the same. The performers come from the same group of musicians, they were recorded in same year (and probably in the same day), and in the same place. The recordings were made in 1931 for Musée Guimet in Paris, under the supervision of Chokorda Gdé Raka Sukawati, in Bali. As with all the records in the Library series, this volume was collected and edited by Alan Lomax, while the music and texts on this specific volume were edited by Doctor Jaap Kunst, who also recorded most of the music, but not the track currently discussed. The following was written by Mr. Kunst, on the liner notes of the album: "This is an excerpt from a musical play in which the principle character is Rangda, the evil widow, who battles against the good principle. Rangda's song has that pressed, instrumental character typical of Balinese vocal music."

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