Exposé Online banner

Gamelan Pacifica — Trance Gong
(What Next WN0016, 1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01

Trance Gong Cover art

Based in the Seattle area, Gamelan Pacifica is a group of musicians in residence at Cornish College of the Arts. Their music – while not strictly traditional in itself – uses the traditional instruments of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra: gongs, chimes, metallophones, flutes, and so on, in ways that are very faithful to the spirit of that tradition. Tuned in different scales than Western music, the interlocking rhythms produced by the multiple metallophones and tuned percussion work in varying repetitive cycles. The overall style tends to be reminiscent more of the music of Jogjakarta, in central Java – a quieter, more relaxing form than the better known – and more aggressive Balinese style. Indeed, the instrumentation is quite different, as well as the way it's played (orchestra configuration and the accompanying theatrics and dance). The compositions draw from a variety of sources, and are written by several different members of the group. In general, the trance in the title fits the music suitably – this is great music for relaxing, yet at the same time it's energetic and interesting enough to hold ones attention for the duration. An outstanding release, and one that might be a suitable introduction to the gamelan for the uninitiated.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1994 releases

Related artist(s): Gamelan Pacifica

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Golgotha - Symphony in Extremis – Once a full band, by the first release - Unmaker of Worlds (1990), Golgotha had already scaled down to being the singlehanded project of one Karl Foster. That release, with its four lengthy tracks,...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues