MOONDOG FOR GAMELAN - WITH IWAN GUNAWAN AND STEFAN LAKATOS :: EUROPALIA INDONESIA FESTIVAL
Entry Requirements: none
The output of eccentric street musician Moondog is reimagined as gamelan by renowned Javanese composer Iwan Gunawan and Moondog’s friend Stefan Lakatos.
Featuring instruments built especially for the occasion, this performance – presented in association with EUROPALIA – takes gamelan out of its traditional context, taking on the experimental yet optimistic compositions of Moondog. Almost Minimalist in its construction – indeed, Moondog alleged that Phillip Glass once called him the ‘father of Minimalism’ – the influential outsider musician’s melodies resonate amid the controlled chaos of gamelan. Leading the ensemble is Iwan Gunawan, a contemporary gamelan composer known for combining the tradition with the use of electronics and computers, and Stefan Lakatos, an old friend and pupil of Moondog, who performs using a homemade percussion instrument given to him by the composer himself.
Few musicians are the source of as much intrigue as Moondog. A blind man from Kansas transplanted to New York City, he dressed as a Viking and chose to live on the streets. His compositions reflect his experiences of hearing his way through the city – motifs borrowed from Jazz, Classical and Native American music unwind over the constant beating of a tom-tom drum, like the thumping of a subway train. Occasionally field recordings of traffic noise or crying babies sneak in, as if leaking through an open window. It’s the sound of a city, the sound of a wealth disparate parts coming together to create a complex whole – a kind of urban gamelan.
Produced by the Barbican in association with Kazum and Europalia.
Supported by Arts Council England