Elsewhere by Graham Reid

music - travel - arts

Wide angle reviews, interviews and opinion by writer Graham Reid

Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

Samasunda Quintet: Bulan Sapasi
Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

This group from West Java make a very different kind of music from that of the familiar gamelan orchestras on nearby Bali. This music is based around the zither-like kacapi which was originally used in court music but became a popular instrument over the centuries.

With pitched drums, violins and the airy voice of singer Neng Dini Andriati, the quintet here offer a delightful and gentle collection of (mostly) love songs -- although Paddy Bergi Ke Bandung is where the traditions of Irish folk and Sundanese style collides, as they do!. (The title mean Paddy Goes to Bandung).

So the quintet has a sense of hunour and a slight irreverence, but for the most part they transport you with melodies which trickle like water across smooth stones (Kembang Tanjung which owes a debt to the kliningan gamelan style).

Drift away. 

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