Collections of themed recordings curated by John Noise Manis


Gamelan Cage

Cover photo: detail of a ceiling painting at Kertha Gosa (Hall of Justice), Klungkung, Bali


Notes by Andrew Clay McGraw



In September 2011 John Noise Manis contacted me with the idea of working out, in some way, several of Cage’s early works for Balinese gamelan, asking if I could recommend any Balinese composers and performers who might be interested in such a project. I reached out to the composer I Madé Subandi (1966-), convinced that his deep interest in intercultural collaboration, his compositional eclecticism and the raw talent of the young musicians in his ensemble, Ceraken, would be a good fit. In fact several composers and ensembles would have been appropriate. Some of whom, especially those with a working knowledge of Western notation and repertoires and who were already aware of Cage, would have been logistically easier to work with. But I knew that neither Subandi nor his musicians had any sustained experience with Western art musics, that none read Western notation and that they were generally unaware of Cage. Working through Cage’s compositions with these musicians would seem to have a greater overall impact in spreading the Cage gospel within Bali and would produce the most striking transformations of Cage’s ideas.

In March 2012 Manis selected an extended list of prepared piano works for us to consider. Subandi immediately took to the music, often noting its “strange similarity” to Balinese gamelan. He quickly chose nine works for us to attempt, copying recordings for each of the eight young musicians he selected to participate in the project. He and his musicians’ favored tracks soon began appearing as their ringtones and so, when their phones inevitably rang during regular rehearsals, the sounds of prepared piano would suddenly intervene upon the sounds of traditional Balinese gamelan. They listened intermittently to the recordings for several months, not attempting to memorize anything, but slowly absorbing Cage’s (for them) unusual timbres and phrasing.

I arrived in Bali in July 2012 to rehearse with the musicians over a three-week period. All of the tracks were recorded live by Manis between July 29-30 at the Bali Purnati Center within an open-air pavilion overlooking the terraced rice fields of Batuan village.

This project represents a very thin slice of Cage’s famously multifaceted output. The works represented here were composed during an eight-year period (1940-1948) during which time Cage was beginning to engage with Eastern thought but had not yet fully developed his approach to indeterminacy. The infamous 4’33” would not arrive until 1952. These early works are fully notated and almost fully determined. They are at times lyrical and delicate, elsewhere ferocious and direct. Cage himself was changing as he composed them; his marriage to his wife Xenia was dissolving as he discovered his attraction to the dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham. The musicologist David Revill has described this as a period of “sexual/psychological stress” (quoted in Gann 2010:65).

Was Cage Influenced by Gamelan?

Or, more specifically, was his approach to the prepared piano influenced by gamelan? He never admitted it if he was. We know he would have heard recordings of gamelan early in his career while studying and working with Cowell in New York in the spring of 1933 to the fall of 1934. Cowell gained only a partial (and in some ways faulty) understanding of Javanese music through lessons with Jodjana in 1931 while studying comparative musicology in Berlin with Erich von Hornbostel (Isaac-Cohen 2010:132). Cowell was not equipped to impart to Cage an idiomatic understanding of Balinese music and there were at the time no ensembles in America in which to study. Sumarsam reports that Cage expressed little interest in Wesleyan’s active gamelan program during residencies there in the 1960s and 1990s, and he had occasionally critiqued traditional gamelan’s strict orchestration (Powell 2003). Cage’s active engagement with gamelan would not come until late in his career, in the form of Haikai (1986), his sole work for gamelan, dedicated to for Si Pawit and the Sundanese gamelan degung of the Evergreen Club of Toronto. More important for Cage’s prepared piano phase was the interwar flowering of percussion and percussive musics by composers including Stravinsky, Antheil, Nielson, and (most importantly) Varese. For Cage, percussion offered a musical medium less “susceptible to the traditional harmonic models of European music” (Gann 2010:52). Nevertheless, it is doubtful that the percussive revolution in Western art music would have occurred at all, or at least in the particular way it unfolded, without the diffusion into Western compositional consciousness of field recordings from Asia and Africa produced by both colonial archivists and commercial labels active in the non-West (such as Odeon). Composers seem to have heard these sounds as Artaud viewed Balinese dance at the 1931 Paris Exposition. Between a gulf of non-understanding a new expressive art, only vaguely reminiscent of its inspiration, was catalyzed.


The Prepared Piano

The story is well known. In March 1940 the choreographer Syvilla Fort requested a dance accompaniment based on an “African theme”, a composition intended to be “primitive, almost barbaric” in character (Cage quoted in Gann 2010:57). The cramped performance space could not accommodate the percussion ensemble Cage hoped to use. Inspired by Cowell’s experiments in extended piano techniques, Cage famously “prepared” the piano already in the space by placing various materials (screws, erasers, wood) between the strings. This first piece, which Cage suggests was composed in about three days, was Bacchanale, the first track included on this recording.

What was behind Cage’s interest in the “noise” of percussion and the complex timbres of the prepared piano? He critiqued Western tonal harmony as a strictly hierarchic organization in which the fundamental tone remained “most important.” To this he contrasted Schoenberg’s twelve-tone method as “analogous to a society in which the emphasis is on the group and the integration of the individual in the group” (Cage 1961 [1937]:5). Like Schoenberg, Cage was interested in “any. . . methods. . . free from the concept of a fundamental tone” (ibid). Cage is suggesting a direct relationship between noise/sound/music and society (what kind of relationship this is remains ambiguous). “Music is an oversimplification of the situation we are actually in” (1961 [1954]:149). He would later make balder statements:

Bach’s music suggests order and glorifies for those who hear it their regard for order, which in their lives is expressed by daily jobs nine to five and appliances with which they surround themselves. . . (1961 [1959]:262).

Attali (1985 [1977]) argued that Western harmony was an ideological system; it could make people “believe in order through representation, to enact the social pyramid while masking the alienation it signifies” (61). If we choose to read Schoenberg’s dissolving, through equalization, the harmonic language of European art music as a critique of rigid (fascist?) hierarchic (social) systems, then Cage extends this critique to the harmonic series itself. Serialist composers may have freed themselves from the cage of tonal harmony, but they remained trapped, Cage demonstrated, within conventions of intonation and spectra that carried their own ideological baggage. He offers an alternate social/aesthetic mode, an inharmonia mundi embodied in the unexpected, irregular happenstance of inharmonic relations that moves us beyond a world of dissonance/consonance. Noise calls into question the differences and distinctions erected by convention.

If tonal harmony and the harmonic overtone series represented the status quo, percussive “noises” were in and of themselves transgressive. Cage says noises “had been dis-criminated against; and being American, having been trained to be sentimental, I fought for noises. I liked being on the side of the underdog” (1961 [1959]: 117). Noise stands for freedom, the iconoclasm celebrated by Emerson and Thoreau, a positive anarchism. But there is contradiction. Cage also argued that sounds must be allowed to be simply sounds: “they are not men: they are sounds” (1961 [1958]: 72). In his Lecture on Something he argues that we need not see “symbols or intellectual references. No thing in life requires a symbol since it is clearly what it is” (1961 [1955?]: 136).

Music is what it is and is not necessarily prophetic or generative or reflective of society/social relations. That is, unless one thinks it so, and then it may serve to focus attention and invigorate action. It becomes a situation for change.

Although Cage’s indications for piano preparation are sometimes inexact, they almost always transform the string from an harmonic to an inharmonic vibrating body. The bronze gongs and keys of gamelan produce inharmonic overtones naturally and it is for this reason that so many listeners think of the gamelan (and sometimes assume a direct line of influence) when hearing the inharmonic, noisy, but definitely pitched sounds of Cage’s prepared piano.


From Prepared Piano to (Prepared) Gamelan 1

As none of the Balinese musicians in Subandi’s ensemble could read Western notation, my principle duty was to teach the works in the Balinese oral tradition (maguru panggul), singing or playing the parts backwards on the opposite side of the instruments. Our first challenge, however, was to make sense of the prepared piano within a Balinese musical context.

Cage’s notes regarding piano preparation were sometimes very open, and in some cases seem to indicate an early interest in indeterminacy. For Primitive (1942) we are given no precise instructions, simply: “place screws or bolts between the following strings. . . in such a way that they give a metallic rattle sound.” As anyone who has prepared a piano knows, this leaves open a world of possibility. For other works Cage is significantly more precise, indicating the particular kind of material to use and its exact placement (down to an 8th of an inch) on the string. There are still problems, however. Cage did not indicate what kind or length of piano he was referring to. A screw placed 1 ¾” from the damper on a baby grand can produce quite a different effect from one placed at the same distance in a grand piano up to twice the total length. Was he simply going after an unusual timbre or attempting to highlight a particular overtone?

Because the forged bronze and iron of gamelan are naturally inharmonic, we did not overtax ourselves by attempting an exhaustive mapping of prepared tones to the gamelan. The more immediate challenge was to cover the wide and highly chromatic nature of the fundamental, notated pitches. Traditional gamelan ensembles range from four to seven tones per octave and incorporate paired tuning in which instruments are tuned in pairs between 6-10 hertz apart, creating the shimmering destructive interference effect for which Balinese gamelan has long been famous. While there is no tuning standard in Bali (nothing equivalent to an A 440), most ensembles can be classed into one or another tuning system: pélog, a seven-tone hemitonic tuning system, and slendro a five-tone anhemitonic tuning system. The particular ranges and intervallic structure of one pélog gamelan in one village may differ widely from an ensemble of similar type and orchestration in another although they would be considered equivalent and perform the same repertoire.

Fortunately for the purposes of this project, Subandi is an obsessive collector of instruments, much to his wife’s chagrin. He often returns from foreign touring engagements with ever more instruments to cram into some corner of the house. By 2012 he had amassed numerous auxiliary percussion instruments from throughout Asia and several full sets of gamelan. This included: a four-tone slendro gamelan angklung, a five-tone pélog gamelan gong kebyar, a seven-tone pélog gamelan semar pegulingan, a five-tone slendro gamelan gender wayang and a seven-tone, iron gamelan slonding. None of these sets was tuned to the other and there were very few coinciding tones between them. In preparation for this project Subandi also commissioned two 24-key, two octave kromatis (“chromatic”) instruments, one iron, another wood. These rather unusual instruments were loosely tuned to the Western equal tempered scale (although flat by a full quarter tone). The arrangement of keys only vaguely recalled the Western piano. Although it sounded an F (a quarter-tone flat), the bottom note was arranged as if it was a C; a lone black key suspended between what pretended to be a C and D was forever throwing me off.

We synthesized an approximate chromatic system through the combination of the seven-tone semar pegulingan and slonding sets whose intervals interlocked to produce, with its two shared tones, a ten note octave. The addition of two notes from the kromatis instruments gave us twelve. When possible we also maintained the system of paired tuning, doubling lines on two differently tuned instruments, giving us a palette of 24 pitches per octave.

In some cases Cage’s preparations evoke a simple inharmonic percussive timbre produced naturally on the gamelan and not requiring further preparation or orchestration, as in the opening passage of Daughters of the Lonesome Isle. In other cases the preparations, especially those involving a combination of materials or the inclusion of loose nuts on screws, produce a complex, noisy timbre that called for a more experimental approach. In these cases we either directly prepared the gamelan, typically by placing lose jangling bells or coins on top of keys, pots and gongs, or we mapped onto the notated passage a “second line” of percussion that imitated the timbre of the preparation. In this case the gamelan functioned as the string, the auxiliary percussion as the preparation. We generally mapped preparations indicating “wood” to small bamboo keys and muted flat gongs; preparations indicating “weather stripping” to Subandi’s gamelan jegog, a set of large tuned bamboo tubes; preparations indicating “rubber” to Balinese kendang barrel drums placed upright in their cloth bags and struck with padded mallets.

1 I refer the reader to Tenzer (2011) as a handy reference regarding the terminology of Balinese gamelan types, instruments and tunings.



As indicated above, I imagined my role to be primarily that of translator. In reality, I became an arranger along with Subandi and his musicians. As a musician, I only appear as a pinch hitter in two of the tracks. Once the musicians had successfully learned and memorized a work, I tried to avoid contact with it in subsequent rehearsals. The music would be more meaningful and interesting to them, I thought, as they transformed it over time. This occasionally led to additions characteristic of Balinese genres but absent in Cage’s score, such as the inclusion of a beat-keeping horizontal gong (kajar, as in Bacchanale) and of phrase marking large vertical gongs (as in both Bacchanale and Mysterious Adventure). These changes might rile a Cage purist. They might have riled Cage. So be it. The real point of this project was to spread Cage’s ideas further afield, to catalyze new experiments; local transformations make his ideas more powerful in their new context.

“Get yourself out of whatever cage you find yourself in.” Cage’s motto/mantra refers both to the structural restrictions of society/aesthetics but also the inhibiting tendencies of one’s own conceptual apparatus. He is asking us to free our mind, get out of our head, an idea evoked by the gory Balinese image included on the front of this booklet and which immediately resonated with the young musicians. It is worth considering seriously their experience as a kind of experiment in the limits of human cognition. Imagine attempting to learn and memorize from scratch nearly 60 minutes of densely, rigorously composed music based upon rhythmic and pitch structures alien to your own culture and for which you have not developed a set of interpretive schema. Imagine attempting to learn an hours worth of Madé Subandi’s most challenging compositions in just twelve rehearsals, without recourse to notation and with no prior training in Balinese music. Then record it for the world to hear. No easy task, for sure, and the musicians felt at times as if they were going out of their minds. The result is a raw, energetic series of performances. And while there are mistakes—simple mistakes, not differences of interpretation—there is a youthful wholeheartedness and intensity that overwhelms all errors.

The ur-cage that makes this entire project possible? The complex global system of inequity that allows foreign gamelan enthusiasts such as John Noise Manis and myself to conceive and realize such a project, but makes improbable the inverse process: Balinese Cage enthusiasts flying to New York to collaborate with leading ensembles on their own terms.


The Performers

Who are these musicians? Neighborhood kids led by a musician trained in the traditional manner by his father in the village of Batuyang. Subandi is a virtuosic performer of several traditional forms, a famously restless and inventive composer. He is an intuitionist, like many of his forefathers, composing his way forward with feeling. His compositions do not hang on any pre-musical, explicit conceptual framework as is sometimes the case with his peers. The renowned composers I Wayan Yudane and I Dewa Ketut Alit may articulate complex abstract frameworks that generate, or explain, their compositional brilliance. Subandi has little time for words, as indicated in his tight, concise response to the request to contribute to these notes below.

His supporting musicians ranged from 15-25 years old. Most had attended the Balinese high school of the arts (SMKI) where they studied under Subandi before continuing to the Institute of the Arts (ISI) for a baccalaureate degree. Many hailed from Batubulan although some, including the brilliant young musician I Putu Gde Sukaryana drove in regularly from a village in distant Tabanan. They were all young bachelors, unattached as yet to domestic life or any regularly paying job. They all lived in their family compounds and earned irregular income from participation in devotional temple performances (ngayah), tourist performances and the odd intercultural collaboration. Music consumed their lives. Subandi and his arts club (sanggar) focused their energies on new and esoteric work. Founded in 2003, Subandi named the club Ceraken, the term for the traditional spice or betel kit in which a collection of heterogeneous things are placed side-by-side. This image, Subandi thought, served as a fitting metaphor for both his own compositional style (often involving the juxtaposition of contrasting materials) and the activities of the club itself, encompassing the teaching and performance of traditional forms as well as being a venue for cutting edge experimentation and intercultural collaboration.


Track Notes:

1) Bacchanale (1940)

This was the first work we attempted and it became many of the musicians’ favorite. It is difficult not to hear palpable Balinese influences in the original, from its overall feel, to its preponderance of 16th note hemiola patterns (so characteristic of Balinese kotekan interlocking) to its pitch gamut that often strongly recalls the pélog tuning system. Many of the musicians noted that this simply “sounded like gamelan” to them; it was in many ways the easiest for us to transfer and for them to memorize. Many of the pitches mapped easily onto the semar pegulingan, with additional pitches borrowed from the slonding. As in Mysterious Adventure, the gong player includes notes absent in the score but which always align with Cage’s barlines. Much of the work was transferable in ways that aligned with idiomatic Balinese techniques. The right hand patterns broke neatly into standard kotekan interlocking patterns, performed by two musicians playing both a semar pegulingan pemadé and kantilan. Two musicians elaborated this line with semi-improvised patterns on reyong. The left hand fit neatly on the lower octave calung. The phrasing and tempos evolved over the course of rehearsals to vary greatly from recorded piano versions. The Balinese felt that preparation was only necessary in the slow midsection, on a single pitch, a B3 which Cage prepares with a screw and lose nuts. For this, Subandi affixed bicycle bells to the musicians’ mallets. The Balinese interpret the slow section much more slowly than any recording I have heard, and here include a regular pulse on the kajar to highlight the syncopated patterns.

2) Primitive (1942)

In this arrangement the semar pegulingan and kromatis instruments performed Cage’s notated pitches. Other instruments were mapped on, per the musicians preferences, as the ‘preparations.’ ‘Primitif’ is a loan word in Indonesian, meaning rustic or aggressive; it is similarly used to refer to particular aesthetic styles (those often favored in the tourist market). In this arrangement the opening motif evoked a ‘sneaky’ mood to some of the players: “like a cat approaching its prey and then pouncing.” It is rather appropriate that the Balinese did not interpret any of these works as the personal, emotive expressions of an individual composer. Instead, each composition came to tell a story and to evoke a particular mood. The musicians’ transformations of Cage’s rhythms, dynamics and phrasing, as well as their approach towards timbre and preparation, generally followed their aim of better conveying what they understood to be the work’s unique narrative. The howling at the end (2:48-) is considered an appropriately ‘primitive’ reference to rowdy vocal entertainments such as genjek, often performed in Northern Bali, often drunkenly. The piece could have only ended, they felt, with an accelerando, absent in the score.

3) Tossed As It Is Untroubled (1943)

For the dance by Merce Cunningham. Cage’s indications call primarily for weather stripping to be placed between the strings such that their fundamental is still obvious but their timbre is muted: round but staccato. We felt that this recalled the timbre and decay pattern of the gamelan jegog, an ensemble made of enormous bamboo grantang tubes, in which the lower half of the tube is cut away from its midpoint to the far end; the player’s end is complete and closed by a node. These are thus simultaneously resonators and vibrating tongue in a single structure. While the gamelan jegog is known primarily in West Bali as a four-tone ensemble (tuned to something similar to a dominant seventh chord), Subandi (and many other composers) have recently adopted the ensemble, tuning it to a seven-tone system to match their semar pegulingan. Two musicians double Cage’s line on paired alto grantang while Subandi improvises on small percussion in the final section to imitate the richer preparations in the higher octave. While recording, we were tossed and troubled by the intense winds of the Balinese midday, heard clearly (along with chickens, motorbikes and buzzing kites) in the recording.

4) Prelude For Meditation (1944)

The simplest and shortest work we arranged, in some ways the most powerful. The score indicates only four prepared notes: (A4, A5, A6, E6). Cage is rather specific in terms of their preparation: “2 wood screws (No. 12, 1 ½” long) between the 2nd and 3rd strings of the 2 higher pitches, 1 ¾” from the bridge.” From this we understood that he was after particular overtone and timbral qualities. We examined a spectral analysis of a performance on prepared piano, mapping as closely as possible the unique overtones produced by each prepared note to tones on the gamelan semar pegulingan. The result was a significantly more complex sound than Cage’s preparation, as each tone on the gamelan (representing a single overtone in the original) produced its own complex, inharmonic overtones as well as the destructive interference of paired tuning. It is performed twice in our version, the second time with the addition of the low register jegogan. This was recorded late at night, when the Balinese soundscape achieves a unique repose. The soundfloor is certainly high. We hear nocturnal insects and birds, water flowing through rice fields. Absent are the intrusions of chickens, dogs, motorbikes, wind and humans that mark Bali’s daytime soundscape.

5) The Unavailable Memory Of (1944)

In our arrangement two musicians, playing paired mid-octave jegog instruments, perform the principle line, with low notes performed on bass tubes prepared with traditional Balinese cowbells. The line is doubled on reyong performed with bare hands. The open wash of overtones Cage achieves by leaving the pedal down is here imitated by rolling continuously on two large vertical gongs. A musician performing the bass tubes could not resist the addition of a final note, not included in the score.

6) Mysterious Adventure (1945)

Composed for the dance by Merce Cunningham. This is a dense, highly chromatic work that pushed the musicians’ technical and cognitive limits. The pitches were mapped onto a combination of semar pegulingan and slonding instruments, doubled on iron and wooden kromatis instruments. Preparations were mapped to a small set of percussion, primarily bamboo. The prepared element is subdued in the performance as the center of interest and challenge laid for the Balinese in the complex chromatic sequences and (for them) the unusual phrasing. In its original version many of the sequences do not appear as such due to the transformations produced by the preparation. Sequences appear more continuous in this version, although the lower range is played (with softer mallets) on the calung and lower slonding instruments, while the high range is performed on the semar pegulingan pemadé, kantil and higher slonding. The pulse is performed continuously on the kajar, which, while unnecessary for musical coordination among such highly skilled players, the Balinese felt better highlighted the striking syncopation of many phrases. A gong player includes phrase markings on two resonant gongs. Their fundamentals, roughly a minor third apart, introduces harmonic implications totally absent from the original. The Balinese tendency to saturate the rhythmic density (as dense as physically possible) appears in otherwise sparse sections of the work (3:22, section 5) in which Subandi includes a spontaneous improvisation on the ‘preparations.’ The six bars of tacit heard at 5:09 would have focused audience attention on Cunningham’s dance in original performances. Here it redirects us to the soundscape of rural Bali in early evening in which we hear a woman singing traditional tembang, perhaps through a loudspeaker at a distant temple ceremony. The accelerando in the final iteration of the idee fixe, absent in the score, recalls the ‘cliff-fall’ manner of ending certain pieces in the Central Javanese repertoire (suwuk gropak).

7) Daughters Of The Lonesome Isle (1945)

Originally composed for the dance by Jean Erdman, this work, the longest on the CD, maxed-out the musicians’ brain capacity. Constructed as a series of short vignettes, the musicians recorded each separately in a session that lasted most of an afternoon. Cage prepares most of the pitches with metal screws or bolts, producing a timbre that reminded the musicians of reyong gong-chimes. For this work we arranged a long row of 28 reyong pots corresponding to the prepared pitches indicated in the score. The pots were combined from Subandi’s gamelan semar pegulingan, gamelan gong kebyar and gamelan angklung, each tuned to separate systems. The result recalls a sequence of chromatic intervals, although some are a bit wider or narrower than the equal tempered half-step. As a result, the octave is not repeated literally but veers sharp as it ascends. This lends a kind of non-identity to the many chromatic sequences in the score, which in the original are given a unique character at each register through preparation. Certain of the reyong pots were also prepared with metal bells. All nine musicians performed, having “ownership” of only 3-4 pots each, as in traditional reyong performance practice. The introduction of four-note sequences descending the gamut then becomes a highly complex maneuver in which each musician must be able to play multiple sections of the sequence (or parts of two sequences simultaneously!) as it descends through their range. A rather simple, and entirely audible, musical structure is thus rendered highly complex in group performance. This fascinated the musicians and they took it as a special challenge to successfully perform the patterns at high tempos. By transferring the work to the more homogenous and focused timbral quality of reyong, a certain melodic clarity is approached that is absent in the original. This version is considerably less “noisy” than Cage’s prepared piano. The glissandi indicated on the score are performed here on angklung and semar pegulingan gangsa placed before the reyong.

8) Music For Marcel Duchamp (1947)

Written for the Duchamp sequence of the film “Dreams That Money Can Buy” by Hans Richter, this is a short, almost minimalist work for eight prepared pitches, here performed by two musicians on reyong gong-chimes, some of which have been prepared with the addition of metal bells. The dynamic marking of pp (or ppp) for almost the entire score brings us in close contact with the midday Balinese soundscape: the wind, birds and flowing water of the rice-fields and rice farmers (:12), and the buzzing Aeolian harps (guangan) Balinese affix to their ubiquitous kites (:56). For me, these sounds stood in for the missing film, to which attention would have been drawn in the work’s original context. It is interesting to note the coincidental resonance between these sounds and film’s imagery: the buzzing of the Aeolian harps, the wind and water, with Duchamp’s fish swirling around abstract Lissajous patterns.

9) Sonata V (1946-1948)

From the renowned Sonatas and Interludes suite. The fifth, like many of them, follows a simple double binary pattern (two sections, both repeated) that Cage borrowed from early 18th century Western art music. The Balinese felt this sonata in particular had a rollicking feel appropriate to the temperament of young musicians. (“Rasanya asyik, lho!” It’s got a funky/fun feel!) Here the top melody line is performed on a combination of slonding and kromatis instruments and is nearly drowned out by the ebullient playing on the preparation instruments. Only some of these instruments were intended to closely mirror Cage’s preparations, such as a the D5 mapped to a sharp peking gong on the second upbeat in the beginning of the opening ostinato.



Attali, Jacques. 1985 [1977]. Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Minnesota.

University of Minnesota Press.

Cage, John. 1961. Silence. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.

Gann, Kyle. 2010. No Such Thing As Silence. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Isaac-Cohen, Matthew. 2010. Performing Otherness. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave


Powell, Jarrad. Email to listserv, February 6, 2003.

Tenzer, Michael. 2011. Balinese Gamelan Music. New York: Tuttle.


Statement by I Madé Subandi

Musik merupakan bagian bagi hidup saya. Seperti kita memerlukan udara untuk bernafas, begitu pula saya memerlukan musik dalam kehidupan keseharian. Selain sebagai media pencurahaan idee dan inspirasi, juga sebagai media spiritual. Rasa terimakasih saya kepada alam dan Tuhan juga saya persembahkan dengan musik. Sebagai orang Bali, saya juga memakai media musik ini sebagai media pelayanan masyarakat. Selain menghibur dan membuat saya senang, musik juga menghidupi kehidupan saya dan keluarga. Saya merasa sangat beruntung bisa hidup dari, oleh dan karena musik.

Music is an (essential) part of my life. As we need air to breath, I need music in my daily life. Besides being a medium for ideas and inspirations, it is a spiritual medium. Through my music flows my thankfulness to God and creation. For me, music is a devotional activity. As a Balinese, music also allows me to serve my community. Besides bringing joy, through music I have been able to live and raise a family. I feel extremely lucky to be able to live from and because of music.



I Made Aristanaya

I Kadek Astawa

I Putu Tiodore Adi Bawa

I Wayan Purnamayasa

I Putu Eman Sabudi Subandi

I Putu Gde Sukaryana

Ida Bagus Bajra Suryadyana

Pande Widiana

I Madé Subandi – Director, Sanggar Ceraken
Andrew Clay McGraw – Artistic Direction, Musical Arrangements, Liner Notes

John Noise Manis – Concept, Production, Recording, Mastering, Photos


Thank You
Sang Hyang Widi Wasa

John Cage

Laura Kuhn and the Cage Trust

Gene Caprioglio and C.F. Peters

Bali Purnati Center for the Arts, Ni Wayan Wartini manager, and Staff.

Rosella Balossino

Ayu Ambarawati

Kadek Suardana and the ARTI Foundation

Ian Coss

Ken Worthy

Dewa Ketut Alit

I Wayan Yudane

Yasuko Takei

The Neighborhood of Gang Elang, Batuyang, Batubulan, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

Andrew Timar

Sanggar Ceraken