Sunday, June 6, 2010

Charlottesville Javanese Gamelan

Today I rode my "new" 1980 Fuji Gran Tourer SE to record the Charlottesville Gamelan performance at the Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative here in Belmont.  On Memorial Day of 2008, I came across the Charlottesville Gamelan as they were preparing to perform at the same venue.  My wife and I were walking home with our 6 month old daughter, and I was curious to know what was going on inside.  I was staring at the building when one of the performers (Bruce) came out to inform us what was going on.  I didn't believe him right away, wondering if the instruments were even real!   Having lived in Charlottesville since 2003, I had never heard of it!  Cindy Benton-Groner is the founder/director (see above photo).  Well, the instruments are real, and she brought them back from Indonesia about 30 years ago.  She has been teaching and performing with her gamelan since.  We ended up going back that day for the performance, and I took my Sony digital mini-disc recorder to record it.  
Last year, I was able to join them, and perform in it myself.  I played the demung, and we performed in the first World Music Festival at UVA in Cabell Hall.  You can hear some of it on my figura music website.  

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