Tuesday, March 07, 2006


I just spent that last two hours transcribing about 30 seconds of Gamelan Music. I have some tricky gong hits to make on Kebyar Duduk and Alit said that I should "just listen to the melody." Where have we heard that before? I can't hear the melody very well because I'm still confused by the style, so I transcribed the part and sort of twisted western musical notation to make it fit:

Tomorrow I've got figure out what I'm doing at the begining of the piece. I'm too burnt out to look at it tonight.
In other gamelan news, I woke this morning to find that we (still) had no power .Nstar had a scheduled shut-off, but said it would be up and running by 8am. It didn't come back on until 3:30. With the power out and no internet disctraction I put on my headphones and transcribed the rhythm for Semara Wisaya on the iPod. It didn't take very long. It's the same as Gringsing; there some parts that are very much "in time" and others that I'll need to watch for my neighbors' cues. For the first time today I started to develop a "feel" for gamelan music. For the parts that weren't rhythmically obvious I would listen for the jublag & penycha to lead up the right note. It was the first time I could anticipate where a note would fall in gamelan music. That's good news.
With the power out I tried a fun experiment where I sang bass notes and improvised over them. I tried a simple I, VIm, IV & V, and had a blast. It's a little like talking to two different people at the same time. The more intricate I get, the more congested I get.
My final guitar exercise was the random chord trick, but with the power out I really had to listen to the harmony before I played. I'm getting better at understanding what melody note I'm playing as it relates to the chord below it. I wish I had this together for my audition the other week. I just didn't realize that this was what I was supposed to do.
It's an exciting experience, and I think I"ve mentioned this before, but it's a little scary. It's almost too easy to improvise. Shouldn't music be hard? What a silly thought. I think this might be my biggest adjustment to this technique... learning how to let go and relax into the music. It gives me shivers to even think about it. Music is complex! How can one relax?
It will take some time. Posted by Picasa


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