Kacapi Suling: Indonesian Flute & Strings

10 Sep

kacapi suling cinta
Among Indonesian musical styles, kacapi suling is the West Javanese antidote to Balinese gong kebyar. Instead of a lightning-paced metallic frenzy, it’s slow and soft with only the suling flute and kacapi zithers. The multi-layered melodies are still there, but there are few enough that your brain can actually wrap around it.

I found this CD at Long in the Tooth in Philadelphia and was excited because 1) it was only $1, and 2) it inclues multiple songs from the UC Davis Gamelan repertoire. Here’s a couple of my favorites:

This song “Kalangkang” was written by Pak Nano S, a famous Sundanese gamelan composer who blended traditional and contemporary pop styles. We were lucky enough at Davis to host him for a week; he sang along with us and made me feel pretty nervous to be on bonang.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=SHVt4vEMIcM]

This is listed in the liner notes as “Jeruk Manis” (which is also an excellent song; check out this funky version by the Acadia Gamelan Ensemble), but I’m pretty sure it’s “Lutung Bingung.” The intro gives me butterflies.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ4qiQVWYYo]

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