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    Evan Ziporyn – Gamelan Galak Tika

    February 26th, 2010

    Gamelan Galak Tika is a nice merger of traditional Balinese-style percussion with two Western instruments: “Amok!” for gamelan, double bass and sampler and “Tire Fire” for gamelan and electric guitars. Gamelan Galak Tika (“Galak” means wild, fierce or passionate, but when combined with “Tika” it merely puns on Battlestar Galactica) is a seven-person ensemble based at MIT who managed to learn this complex music by rote…no peaking at a score, ever. In “Amok!” the “sampler eats up the whole ensemble and spits it out again.” “Listen, for example, to the start of part two, where the sampler tranposes the gamelan’s gong to different pitches. As the beats expand and contract, this single-note time-keeping instrument becomes a melody instrument, a virtual forest of gongs. It is as if a single gong were hung in a hall of digital mirrors. Soon afterward, the sampler introduces nine-note chord clusters, as though all of the keys of a Balinese metallophone were played at once. In these and many other ways, the sampler lets Ziporyn construct ‘an impossible musical landscape.'”–Marc Perlman

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