CONTINUUM

  1. Continuum
    Release date: 15.07.15

    OK, so we're finally letting this baby out. It's been some 4-5 years since we indulged our preoccupation and fascination with gamelan. Balinese gong kebyar, to be precise. We started consciously unearthing music from our own cultural backyard. It's been humbling. We've had to throw out some rules and unlearn a few things.

    These recordings feature Balinese gamelan-inspired bronze instruments we built based on a 6-tone scale of our own devising. A pair of jegogan and pemade, one cengceng, and a reyong set with acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, synths, drums and vocals.

    The initial sketches of Continuum began in Bali, on reyong. Interlocking kotekans were composed and assigned to different instruments like the jegogan, pemade and drums. Despite the brief time spent with composer Dewa Alit (Gamelan Salukat), his compositional ideas and thoughts left a deep impression on all of us. He reminds us that culture is not a museum, it is ever changing.

    Revering that which is Western pop or classical since as far back as we started learning our A-B-Cs , few amongst us even thought it worth finding out about music from Southeast Asia. 'Backward', 'old-fashioned', 'screechy', so we thought, our sensibilities were completely attuned to Western idioms. How much time we've lost. In Leslie's words, "these past years have been an attempt at correcting the oversight of not discovering music from this region."

    Superimposing this frame of mind onto the multi-cultural identity of Singapore, we took the inevitable step to combine influences both old and new into a more inclusive sonic sphere that accepts differences as they are. Although we're not traditionalists, we hope to do justice, producing a work that has our voice but still pays homage to our Southeast Asian roots.

    The six note scale we devised may seem limited, but we found ourselves liberated and able to explore intricate rhythms with the economy of simple melodic ideas.

    Sample the album here:
    soundcloud.com/observatorysg/continuum-sampler

    Preorder Continuum now:
    theobservatory.bandcamp.com/album/continuum

    # vimeo.com/130737226 Uploaded
  2. A visit to our instrument maker Pande Sukarta turns out the biggest revelation on HOW Balinese musicians lay the basis for the tuning and making of their instruments.

    # vimeo.com/78881863 Uploaded
  3. # vimeo.com/78881862 Uploaded
  4. Vocal part 1

    # vimeo.com/136170266 Uploaded
  5. Rediscovering ourselves and what music means to us through gamelan.
    Two years, two teachers. Anom Baris of Semara Ratih & Dewa Alit of Gamelan Salukat.

    # vimeo.com/78881864 Uploaded

CONTINUUM

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All things to do with our new album Continuum - past research, experimentation, finding our way round, compositional work, release news, updates, launch concert, tour info, merchandise up for grabs, musicians involved in the creation of this, and those…


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All things to do with our new album Continuum - past research, experimentation, finding our way round, compositional work, release news, updates, launch concert, tour info, merchandise up for grabs, musicians involved in the creation of this, and those who've performed with us in presenting the work at The Substation and at Tokyo Performing Arts Market.

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