August 06, 2007

Fun. With Gongs.

On Saturday we made our first foray into the countryside surrounding Torino. We ventured north, up into the foothills of the Alps to a place just outside Castellamonte.

That's the home of the Montebello Gamelan, and its owner - with whom we spent a delightful evening sat in the grounds of his villa listening to music and enjoying some wonderful food (such as the halved strawberries topped with cream cheese and caramelised ginger).

Rebecca, whose dissertation was about Gamelan and who played in a Gamelan ensemble when we were in the UK, does a better job of explaining the Gamelan side of things, but essentially it's a style of traditional Indonesian music.

The instruments are largely percussion based, with lots of gongs and xylophone-style instruments. We did play the gamelan a little although there weren't enough of us to attempt any real pieces. I didn't stray beyond my abilities, and stuck to trying out the many gongs; they produce a lovely long-lasting tone with hardly any effort. Very atmospheric, almost film soundtrack-esque.

As Rebecca says, it would be fantastic to hear it being played properly.

Posted by Adrian at August 6, 2007 10:57 AM | TrackBack

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