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VOA标准英语2010年-American Musicians Make Balinese Gamel

时间:2010-08-06 01:58来源:互联网 提供网友:konicaqq   字体: [ ]

On Sunday afternoons, the clang of traditional Indonesian percussion1 music known as gamelan wafts2 down the street, audible on the approach to the Indonesian Consulate3 on Manhattan's east side.

Gamelan is also the word for the kinds of instruments that produce it: various sizes of metal xylophones, large gongs, drums and wooden flutes4. The 20 musicians playing these instruments are members of Dharma Swara, a New York-based group that specializes in Balinese gamelan, the indigenous5 music of the Indonesian island just east of Java.

Eastern music with a western sensibility

They've been rehearsing intensely, preparing for the gamelan competition at the annual Bali Arts Festival. Dharma Swara, which means The Sound of the True Path, is the first non-Indonesian ensemble6 ever to be invited to participate in this decades-old competition.

The members of the group are almost all from North America, and getting to understand Bali culture through music has been a big revelation. Canadian Vivian Fung plays the Calung, a xylophone with five bronze keys. She says gamelan has changed the way she thinks about music.

"One of the biggest differences is the collective mentality7 of the gamelan, and of Balinese society," she explains, comparing it to western society, which she says "is all about the self. Everything [in Balinese society] is based on the group. Even the mentality of how you play. You're playing paired with someone else. So you really have to be together with your partner. And it's wonderful because gamelan is like a microcosm of how the Balinese live."

Different paths to Dharma Swara

Fung has been playing with Dharma Swara for two years, and was first introduced to gamelan music through a world arts fellowship six years ago.

Like others in the group, she was drawn8 to play because of her fascination9 with the music and the culture.


Photo Credit - Gail Wein
Balinese gamelan ensemble Dharma Swara in rehearsal10 at the Indonesian Consulate in New York City

Nicci Reisnour is a doctoral student in musicology at Cornell University, and she makes the five-hour commute11 to New York City every weekend for Dharma Swara rehearsals12. She first heard a student group play gamelan a few years ago, and "it blew my mind. I just thought it was most amazing sounding thing.  It sounded like nothing I'd ever heard before, I guess."

Andy McGraw was studying jazz and classical percussion on the east coast in college and at home in Kansas City. He recalls hearing Balinese gamelan music for the first time in an introductory world music class, and absolutely hating it.

"It sounded radically13 out of tune14, and disorganized. And I couldn't make any sense of it. Then, when I first heard it live, it was in Bali, and it was in a contest between two of really the best groups on the island in a temple contest. I couldn't believe it was same music I heard on this cassette that I detested15 so much!"

McGraw is now a professor of ethnomusicology at the University of Richmond in Virginia, and executive director of Dharma Swara.

Performing for an audience that knows its music

Unlike western classical music competitions, where a panel of experts rates each performance, McGraw explains gamelan competitions in Bali rely mostly on audience reaction. "And the audience lets you know in real time exactly how they feel about your performance. And any slight mistake this audience goes crazy and will hoot16 and holler.

"It's really more like a soccer crowd"

The month-long Bali Arts Festival is an enormous affair, with multiple stages of music and dance, plus fashion shows, food stalls, and events for children, in addition to the traditional music and dance performances and competitions.


Photo Credit - Gail Wein
Dharma Swara includes dancers as well as musicians

Some of what Dharma Swara will perform is very traditional. Other selections are new compositions by members of the group – works that sound very different from anything the Balinese people will have heard before.

Vivian Fung thinks that audiences will be surprised – and pleased – by the fusion17 of East and West, and old and new. "What we're doing is infusing our personality into the gamelan. And some of the composers have these jazzy licks, and there's one composer that has very atmospheric18 avant garde sound. She's using the gamelan in an entirely19 different way. And it's very experimental."

Fung sees the competition as a sort of cultural exchange. "[They're thinking,] there are these foreign people that are coming in, playing our music. But I think that we have put our own stamp on something very traditional and we can add our own personalities20 to it. And that's the best that we can do.

"We're a group from New York so we have this New York mentality," she points out. "And I think they will love that, actually."

The test will come on July 8th, in the final days of the Festival, when New York's Dharma Swara faces off against the best local gamelan groups in Bali.



1 percussion K3yza     
  • In an orchestra,people who play percussion instruments sit at the back.在管弦乐队中,演奏打击乐器的人会坐在后面。
  • Percussion of the abdomen is often omitted.腹部叩诊常被省略。
2 wafts cea8c86b5ca9cf55bc3caeed26b62437     
n.空中飘来的气味,一阵气味( waft的名词复数 );摇转风扇v.吹送,飘送,(使)浮动( waft的第三人称单数 )
  • A breeze wafts the sweet smell of roses. 微风吹来了玫瑰花的芬芳(香味)。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • A breeze wafts the smell of roses. 微风吹送玫瑰花香气。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
3 consulate COwzC     
  • The Spanish consulate is the large white building opposite the bank.西班牙领事馆是银行对面的那栋高大的白色建筑物。
  • The American consulate was a magnificent edifice in the centre of Bordeaux.美国领事馆是位于波尔多市中心的一座宏伟的大厦。
4 flutes f9e91373eab8b6c582a53b97b75644dd     
长笛( flute的名词复数 ); 细长香槟杯(形似长笛)
  • The melody is then taken up by the flutes. 接着由长笛奏主旋律。
  • These flutes have 6open holes and a lovely bright sound. 笛子有6个吹气孔,奏出的声音响亮清脆。
5 indigenous YbBzt     
  • Each country has its own indigenous cultural tradition.每个国家都有自己本土的文化传统。
  • Indians were the indigenous inhabitants of America.印第安人是美洲的土著居民。
6 ensemble 28GyV     
  • We should consider the buildings as an ensemble.我们应把那些建筑物视作一个整体。
  • It is ensemble music for up to about ten players,with one player to a part.它是最多十人演奏的合奏音乐,每人担任一部分。
7 mentality PoIzHP     
  • He has many years'experience of the criminal mentality.他研究犯罪心理有多年经验。
  • Running a business requires a very different mentality from being a salaried employee.经营企业所要求具备的心态和上班族的心态截然不同。
8 drawn MuXzIi     
  • All the characters in the story are drawn from life.故事中的所有人物都取材于生活。
  • Her gaze was drawn irresistibly to the scene outside.她的目光禁不住被外面的风景所吸引。
9 fascination FlHxO     
  • He had a deep fascination with all forms of transport.他对所有的运输工具都很着迷。
  • His letters have been a source of fascination to a wide audience.广大观众一直迷恋于他的来信。
10 rehearsal AVaxu     
  • I want to play you a recording of the rehearsal.我想给你放一下彩排的录像。
  • You can sharpen your skills with rehearsal.排练可以让技巧更加纯熟。
11 commute BXTyi     
  • I spend much less time on my commute to work now.我现在工作的往返时间要节省好多。
  • Most office workers commute from the suburbs.很多公司的职员都是从郊外来上班的。
12 rehearsals 58abf70ed0ce2d3ac723eb2d13c1c6b5     
n.练习( rehearsal的名词复数 );排练;复述;重复
  • The earlier protests had just been dress rehearsals for full-scale revolution. 早期的抗议仅仅是大革命开始前的预演。
  • She worked like a demon all through rehearsals. 她每次排演时始终精力过人。 来自《简明英汉词典》
13 radically ITQxu     
  • I think we may have to rethink our policies fairly radically. 我认为我们可能要对我们的政策进行根本的反思。
  • The health service must be radically reformed. 公共医疗卫生服务必须进行彻底改革。
14 tune NmnwW     
  • He'd written a tune,and played it to us on the piano.他写了一段曲子,并在钢琴上弹给我们听。
  • The boy beat out a tune on a tin can.那男孩在易拉罐上敲出一首曲子。
15 detested e34cc9ea05a83243e2c1ed4bd90db391     
v.憎恶,嫌恶,痛恨( detest的过去式和过去分词 )
  • They detested each other on sight. 他们互相看着就不顺眼。
  • The freethinker hated the formalist; the lover of liberty detested the disciplinarian. 自由思想者总是不喜欢拘泥形式者,爱好自由者总是憎恶清规戒律者。 来自辞典例句
16 hoot HdzzK     
n.鸟叫声,汽车的喇叭声; v.使汽车鸣喇叭
  • The sudden hoot of a whistle broke into my thoughts.突然响起的汽笛声打断了我的思路。
  • In a string of shrill hoot of the horn sound,he quickly ran to her.在一串尖声鸣叫的喇叭声中,他快速地跑向她。
17 fusion HfDz5     
  • Brass is formed by the fusion of copper and zinc. 黄铜是通过铜和锌的熔合而成的。
  • This alloy is formed by the fusion of two types of metal.这种合金是用两种金属熔合而成的。
18 atmospheric 6eayR     
  • Sea surface temperatures and atmospheric circulation are strongly coupled.海洋表面温度与大气环流是密切相关的。
  • Clouds return radiant energy to the surface primarily via the atmospheric window.云主要通过大气窗区向地表辐射能量。
19 entirely entirely     
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
20 personalities ylOzsg     
n. 诽谤,(对某人容貌、性格等所进行的)人身攻击; 人身攻击;人格, 个性, 名人( personality的名词复数 )
  • There seemed to be a degree of personalities in her remarks.她话里有些人身攻击的成分。
  • Personalities are not in good taste in general conversation.在一般的谈话中诽谤他人是不高尚的。
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