Collections of themed recordings curated by John Noise Manis


1 – 10:19 Ktw LANGEN GITA SRINARENDRA pelog barang
2 – 7:46 Ketawang SUBA KASTAWA slendro sanga
3 – 7:50 Ladrang GOLONG pelog lima
4 – 3:03 Three short pieces from Wayang Kulit slendro sanga
5 – 3:50 Macapat ASMARADANA slendro miring
6 – 6:49 Ketawang PUSPA WARNA slendro manyura
7 – 5:45 Ladrang RAJA MANGGALA pelog nem
8 – 8:28 Ladrang SOBRANG slendro nem



Gamelan of Central Java III – Modes and Timbres

Three Short Pieces from Wayang Kulit

III. Modes and Timbres

Collection: Gamelan of Central Java, Original Series

Il terzo CD (…) è un viaggio, amorosamente curato da Manis, fra i vari strumenti che compongono l’orchestra di Gamelan: ognuno dei brani selezionati mette in rilievo i timbri e le possibilità espressive del suling, del gender, del rebab, del celempung, dei bonang, del kendhang e della voce solista femminile.

Giovanni De Zorzi, World Music Magazine


I should let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed this CD. It came at a perfect time as I was wanting to introduce beginner players to how gender and suling parts ‘fit’ in a piece. By highlighting 1 or 2 elaborating instruments, the character of the instruments as well as their parts are so much easier to follow. I thought the whole approach was not only great listening but very educational. The liner notes gave so much information that it has been easy for me to recommend this CD to beginning gamelan players. Eighteen pages of liner notes full of information, gamelan terms, pathet explanations, performance practice, etc. was an added bonus. Thanks for this new approach to recording gamelan music – it’s great.

Joy Shea, by email


This CD is a primer on the elements of gamelan music. To a non-expert the music sounds great. The liner notes are excellent.

Alex Dunn, Zookeeper Online


La prosecuzione di una serie, nel caso di incisioni per forza di cose impossibilitate a essere premiate dalle vendite, è sempre una buona notizia. Perché sta a indicare non un bieco sfruttamento del mercato e dei consumatori quanto piuttosto la presenza di un cospicuo materiale degno di essere pubblicato. Il volume III sceglie una prospettiva propedeutica…. Se la scelta di partenza può essere discutibile, non lo è assolutamente il risultato finale, perché ciò che è dato ascoltare è semplicemente una cascata di musica intensa e sublime.

Piercarlo Poggio, Blow Up


Melodies for the millions? Two new steps in the engaged and expert series of Gamelan Music from Central Java. The recordings were made in June 2003, the quality of sound is excellent. Nevertheless, the fact that gamelan is not only rich gong sonorities, but also whining voices of strings and a type of singing that requires a certain acclimatization, will certainly frighten the well-disposed public in this country. The producer John Manis faces the issue in his booklet note titled “Is there a ‘wall’ between the Javanese gamelan and the average Western musical taste?” This is a question that in the German panorama of radio and TV need not even be posed, as gamelan music simply does not exist in the private channels, while in the public ones does not manage to enter the current bloody allotted spaces and is substituted with any other programme. So, the answer to the question that need not even be posed is: yes! But even if gamelan could be listened to regularly, this would not guarantee greater acceptation. The average German listener unfortunately has a very superficial musical taste: he prefers to listen to what he already knows. And what he does not know, he does not want to listen to. This is the reason why sales of marvellous CDs such as these do not reach volume numbers higher that four digits [optimist! the translator]. Just like Bach’s Cantatas or Bruckner’s Symphonies, unfortunately…..

Walter Bast, Folker! (translated from German)


John Noise Manis has recorded unusual combinations of instruments….. The musicians, excellent players from STSI Surakarta, cope admirably with the requests that the producer makes of them.

Maria Mendonca, Songlines