The Jegog

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These six-foot bamboo tubes are the heart of the Jegog. The ensemble has a mellow sound next to the shrill intensity of Bali’s more common bronze instruments. Traditionally a Jegog has only four tones but my teacher, I Made Subandi, had this seven-tone set built to match the tuning of his main ensemble: the Semar Pegulingan. All the music they perfrom is written by Subandi (Made is a common first name signifying that he is the second born child, so he goes simply by Subandi). The group made a stuio recording earlier this year but never made a final mix. This week I assembled the audio files and produced a final master for them. Here’s my personal favorite:

Here is the group, called “Ceraken” performing at a fancy restaurant in the resort town of Sanur. The musicians are all around my age; most of them are alumni or students at the arts university here in Denpasar.

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In other news:

-I have finally assembled all the fixings for a proper American breakfast, oatmeal and real butter were especially hard to come by.

-I played guitar with Subandi at a writers conference in Ubud, Bali. We performed a composition of his for a mixture of Balinese, Javanese, and western instruments

-My room is a menagerie home to spiders, lizards, birds, mice, rabbits, and many ants. Every time I come home I hear animals scurrying out of sight.

-There are lots of ceremonies this week because of the full moon…I am playing with Subandi’s Semar Pugulingan group at a ceremony on thursday

-I managed to chip one of my teeth gnawing on a coconut…won’t make that mistake again.

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