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Mepalu Sari

by Western Front Recordings

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about

"Mepalu Sari" [Essence of a Collision], is a collection of new gamelan and electronic music compositions by students and emerging artists. In partnership with Burnaby North Secondary School and Insitu Recordings, high school students in Bali were commissioned to compose and perform new music for gamelan that would later be sampled and reinterpreted by Canadian high school students and electronic musicians.

To this end three teams of high school students were assembled in Bali, each led by an Insitu Recordings team member who would support the students as they developed their compositions. Several months later the groups convened at Antida Studio in Sanur, Bali to record their work. For many of the students, this was their first experience in a recording studio and the first time their music had been recorded professionally. The recordings from that lengthy session, which resulted in fifteen new works, were then sent to Vancouver, Canada.

Concurrently, students at Burnaby North Secondary School, led by teacher Kevin Ault, engaged with the sounds of gamelan music, attending two workshops with Insitu Recordings’ founders Jonathan Adams and I Putu Gede Sukaryana. Through these workshops the students learned about the history of Balinese gamelan and had a chance to play the instrument. After this, they began working with Vancouver-based composers Brian Topp, Yu Su, and Kiran Bhumber, learning the program Ableton Live and beginning the process of creating new works using the gamelan samples. The works were originally planned to be premiered at Western Front in 8 Channel surround sound in early June, but due to COVID-19, the concert had to be cancelled. In April it was decided to extend the scope of the project. The Balinese compositions were provided to local and internationally-based Canadian artists.

From the outset, our hope was to transcend paradigms of appropriation and create an exchange between the Balinese and Vancouver students. The students on both sides of the Pacific were enthusiastic about the project and the music within this album reflects that.

credits

released August 7, 2020

Producer & Curator:
Aram Bajakian

Insitu Recordings Coordinators:
I Putu Gede Sukaryana, Jonathan Adams

Insitu Recordings Bali Team Leaders:
I Wayan Situbanda, I Komang Pasek Wijaya, I Wayan Ari Widyantara

Burnaby North Secondary School Coordinator:
Kevin Ault

Educators:
Kiran Bhumber, Csaba Laszlo, Yu Su, Brian Topp, I Putu Gede Sukaryana, Jonathan Adams

Mixing:
Jonathan Adams, Insitu Recordings

Mastering:
Michael Fossenkemper, TurtleTone Studio

Production Assistant:
Kate Woolf, Kathy Feng

Technical Support:
Lief Hall, Ben Wilson

Produced in partnership with Burnaby North Secondary School and Insitu Recordings, and with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the BC Arts Council, the Province of British Columbia, the City of Vancouver, ArtStarts in Schools and TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.

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Western Front Recordings Vancouver, British Columbia

Western Front is a non-profit artist-run centre in Vancouver. We support a multidisciplinary program that provides opportunities to artists working across music, media art, visual art, performance, and literature to create and present work.

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