An Ancient Indonesian Music Tradition Gets an Electronic Update
By Claire Voon for Hyperallergic
For centuries, Indonesians have taken mallets to various forms of the gamelan, a traditional set of instruments assembled from an array of gongs and metallophones, often played to accompany dances. Throughout this month, an updated version of the ensemble is playing digitally composed scores, chiming away in a space in Brooklyn, 10,000 miles from the tradition’s country of origin. The Gamelatron is the world’s first completely robotic gamelan orchestra — a kinetic, site-specific structure created by Aaron Taylor Kuffner, who has rigged 27 Javanese gongs and mallets on five separate steel towers, programming them to play music that he digitally arranged. Tucked into the Chimney NYC, a one-room arts venue that opened in June, the structures border a simple rug and a number of beanbags to create The Gamelatron Urban Sanctuary, an unexpected oasis of sound. More HERE.