Category Archives: World Music

Emory Gamelan offers up a musical bouquet for winter

by Mark Gresham | 4 DEC 2016

Emory Gamelan Ensemble (credit Mark Gresham)

Emory Gamelan Ensemble (credit: Mark Gresham)

On Sunday evening the Emory Gamelan Ensemble presented a one-hour concert of Javanese classical music entitled “Winter Flowers” at Emory University’s Performing Arts Studio on Burlington Road

The program featured Javanese gamelan music meant to be heard on its own, rather than as accompaniment for other performing arts. The ensemble performed a total of eight pieces, the first five in the slendro tuning system and the final two in the contrasting pélog system. In between was a unique, pivotal piece, Bima Kroda (“Bima is Angry”), which began in slendro but shifted midway to pélog.

Because Emory owns sets of instruments in both Javanese tuning systems, the ensemble is able to set up the slendro instruments so the musicians face the audience, with the pélog instruments positioned so the they need only turn to one side to play them. The final two compositions in pélog, Pangkur (“Pickaxe”) and Udan Mas (“Golden Rain”), had also been played in the slendro scale early in the concert. That they were repeated in a different tuning system lent each a different character in its second presentation.

These three compositions were among a handful that were also heard in a similar performance by Emory Gamelan Ensemble last April, which seems to imply that the group is trying to establish for itself a more secure body of regular repertoire, rather than than rushing between projects where entirely new music has to be learned afresh with each project. This would be a healthy thing for the musical confidence of the ensemble, which typically draws a sizable crowd to the 260-seat PAS. Sunday’s audience was a bit smaller than usual, with attendance most likely dampened due to the chilly, rainy weather. The performance was nonetheless a delightfully exotic and meditative experience with which to conclude the weekend. •

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“Sukyi Nyima” brings colorful Tibetan folk opera to Emory [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 08 Apr 2013, ArtsATL

A scene from ”Sukyi Nyima” - an example of Tibetan folk opera. (credit: Hal Jacobs)

A scene from ”Sukyi Nyima” – an example of Tibetan folk opera. (credit: Hal Jacobs)

A large and curious audience packed Emory University’s Cannon Chapel on Saturday afternoon for the performance of “Sukyi Nyima” (“Radiant as the Sun”), an example of traditional Tibetan folk opera known as Ache Lhamo … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

McIntosh County Shouters bring the “ring shout” to GSU [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 5 Mar 2013, ArtsATL

The McIntosh County Shouters from the Gullah-Geechee community in South Georgia. (Photo by Frank Stewart)

The McIntosh County Shouters from the Gullah-Geechee community in South Georgia. (Photo by Frank Stewart)

Georgia State University’s “I Lot” is a small, cramped parking deck on Peachtree Center Avenue, next to the historic Hurt Building. By day it’s reserved for GSU faculty and staff, but by night it becomes parking for events at Kopleff Recital Hall, a block away. … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

Preview: America’s Kronos Quartet, Azerbaijan’s Alim Qasimov Ensemble to join for musical magic [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 14 Feb 2012, ArtsATL

The Kronos Quartet (Photo by Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen)

The Kronos Quartet (Photo by Jeppe Gudmundsen-Holmgreen)

The cultures of Azerbaijan and America will meet onstage when the Kronos Quartet and the Alim Qasimov Ensemble perform together this Friday at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Each group will showcase its own set, then they will join to perform love songs drawn from ashiqs, the bardic singer-songwriters of Azerbaijan. … • READ MORE on ArtsATL

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards & Band of the Cold Stream Guards – March 10 [Creative Loafing]

by Mark Gresham

(courtesy CAMI, Inc.)

Here comes the Calvary! Scotland’s only Regiment of Cavalry, and famed for the stirring sounds of their bagpipes and drums, the ROYAL SCOTS DRAGOON GUARDS topped UK music charts with their rendition of “Amazing Grace.” BAND OF THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS has been in existence for more than 200 years, making it one of the world’s oldest military brass bands and the British Army’s longest surviving Calvary of the Line. Both play the Fox Mon., MARCH 10. $27-$38. 8:00 p.m. 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700. • READ MORE on Creative Loafing-Atlanta

Voyage to India [Creative Loafing]

Span style=”font-size:125%;”>Kakali Bandyopadhyay
by Mark Gresham | 31 Jan 2007, Creative Loafing-Atlanta

WORLD CLASS-ICAL CITIZEN: Kakali Bandyopadhyay (courtesy Schwartz Center, Emory University)

WORLD CLASS-ICAL CITIZEN: Kakali Bandyopadhyay (courtesy Schwartz Center, Emory University)

For most Atlantans, the musical and cultural offerings of the city’s Indo-American population are a relatively undiscovered country. In other words, India’s cultural legacy is much bigger than Bollywood. And Dr. Kakali Bandyopadhyay — a master classical performer on the sitar, India’s best-known musical instrument — is attuned to that difference in public awareness, as she is both an artist affiliate at Emory University and a biotechnologist associated with the nearby Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … &bull READ MORE on Creative Loafing-Atlamta