Nyepi is the Balinese day of silence. Everyone stays indoors, no one makes any noise, presumably Gamelan practise is cancelled for the day. So it's a bit funny for me to start this lesson video blog today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyepi
update: wow, it takes longer to edit and upload videos than I thought so it's now tomorrow, (Thurdsday) not Nyepi (Wednesday) anymore!
It's not super easy for me to find time to make these videos at the moment, but I've managed to get two quick tunes done this morning: REJANG DEWA (for the adult group), and BARIS (for the kids). Perfection is said to be the enemy of good, in this case my good intention to get things done, so please forgive the informal and unedited nature of my first videos. I'm very happy to receive comments (use the blog comments section?) and re-do things over time. The silver-lining of this whole process is that I'll get better at making online content, which I think could be a really good tool for the future of the group.
This ancient solo dance (tunggal means solo) tells the story of a warrior using intensity and surprise to ward off their enemies rather than holding a weapon. Because there's only one PENARI (dancer) they can decide when to perform the ANGSEL (break/cadence/call-response) so the PENABUH (musicians) must be ready for it at any moment.
Don't let the speed of these Balinese examples freak you out but it's great to see the dance costumes and movements so you can tell the tunes apart and know what kind of energy we're trying to create.
ALL WELCOME LEVEL
Here's a great example of how dance and music is performed as an offering to the gods, without the concert-hall formality we've come to expect from ballet and orchestra (etc). People sit around watching from all sides, chatting and eating. A baby joins in at 3:00, a dog wanders through at 6:20. No problem, as long as the intention of the offering is good. (This version sounds a little different to ours, but it's still the 'same' tune)