We had an interesting experience yesterday. One of my coworkers leads a second life as a musician in a Balinese gamelan orchestra. Yesterday they had a benefit concert-and-supper somewhere in the vicinity of Berkeley, with gamelan and flute music, traditional dance, and all kinds of food (well, I say ‘all kinds,’ but what I mean is, ‘all kinds that you can find inside a banana leaf’). I thought it was pretty yummy, and an interesting new point on my personal food map (the closest I’ve come to Balinese food before is probably Dutch-Indonesian food, and—while similar in technique—in terms of flavour palette that isn’t very close, as it turns out).
And I really enjoyed the music. I’ve been something of a fan of Balinese Gamelan since I came across this recording at some point in the 80s; but I’ve never had the opportunity to experience the music in the nearfield before, or to see the physical technique of the players.
Others may find the music monotonous. I have to admit, I don’t quite know how they do that :).