Looks like this thread got lost in the fray, leaving these burning questions floating in mid air...
Loren, where are you?
I thought this thread got lost in the last forum meltdown, glad it didn't. And good to see one of Gordon's last posts, I had forgotten he had participated in this thread.
Forgot to ask if you have heard this Gamelan of Central Java series...and if so, what do you think of it?
I have a few of these discs from this series, I seem to remember volume 2 & 4, and maybe volume 3. I'm not at home right now so I can't tell you which ones. Its been a while since I have listened to them but I seem to remember that they were pretty good.
I have an interesting one of all wooden Gamelan (is the wooden stuff technically Gamelan?) called 'Between Heaven and Earth' which seems to be of the more speed metal Bali variety. But the wood is an amazing twist, quite enjoyable.
I have that recording although I don't remember much about it (I probably have hundreds of gamelan CDs) Its not wood but bamboo, and yes it is considered gamelan, its probably an ensemble called Jegog. I will check this when I get home.
From Nonesuch, I have 'The Jasmine Isle' (Java), 'Gamelan of the Love God' (Bali) and a big comp by David Lewiston called 'Bali'.
David and Bob Brown were to two main guys recording music in Indonesia for Nonesuch back in the day. Since you like central Java gamelan so much you should pick up Bob's three recordings of royal court music of Java. All three are on Nonesuch, hopefully one of these days Nonesuch will release the 4th volume that Bob recorded, they've been sitting on it for 30 years now. Bob also recorded a couple of Balinese gamelan albums for Nonesuch which are worth having, actually 'Gamelan of the Love God' is one of Bob's.
David has one other CD you might want to pick up, its called Trance 2
and was released on Ellipsis Arts back in the mid 1990s. It comes in a CD-sized 64-page hardcover book.
I think Volume II, 'Ceremonial Music' might be the Sektan Gamelan you mentioned. It is very deep and powered with intensely hypnotic drumming, and it seems from the background noise that it is a festival atmosphere...quite a wonderful and trance inducing recording.
Hmm, not sure if its Sektan from your discription. Their is only one drum in Sektan and its used only occationally. I'll dig that CD out when I get home and give it a listen. The background noise sounds right, when I recorded them their was a big festival going on all around, in my recordings you can hear these snaps that occur, which were whips that people were demonstrating. I just remembered their is a small example of Sektan on my CD Indonesian Soundscapes
. The track is called Maulud Nabi Festival
. If I remember its only a modal introduction as an entire piece would have been too long for that CD.