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Gamelan Galak Tika runs 'amok' with electronic duo

Balinese music enters the 21st century when MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika concludes its fourth season with a concert in collaboration with computer music duo Basso Bongo on Saturday, May 10, at 8pm in Kresge Auditorium.

The program will range from ancient traditional Balinese favorites to state-of-the-art technology with the world premiere of Artistic Director Evan Ziporyn's Amok! a 30-minute multicultural extravaganza for the full 25-member ensemble, computer generated gamelan "samples," and live electronics. Amok!, will feature the musical virtuosity and technical wizardry of the Basso Bongo duo, who perform live on double bass and percussion while simultaneously triggering computer and electronic processes.

Also on the program is Dr. Ziporyn's Tire Fire, a work for gamelan and electronic new meaning, he says, to the term "heavy metal."

Tickets are $5, free for children under 12 and members of the MIT community.


Since its inception in 1988, Basso Bongo has used technology as an extension of their instruments, mixing interactive computer technologies, pre-programmed and live sampling technologies, digital and analog sound synthesis and extensive signal processing.

The "basso" of the group, double bassist Robert Black, is well-known for his work as a soloist and as a member of the Bang On a Can All-Stars. The "bongo," percussionist Amy Knoles, is a founding member of the California EAR Unit and the Paul Dresher Ensemble who has previously performed live interactive music with Professor Tod Machover of MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences.

The duo, who will in residence at MIT May 7-10, combines their technological abilities with traditional and extended instrument technique, vocals and visual images.

On Thursday, May 8, Basso Bongo will present a public lecture-demonstration titled, "Live MIDI Interactive Music-making" at 2:30pm in Kresge Auditorium. On Friday, May 9, at 8pm in Killian Hall they'll perform a recital with members and instruments of Gamelan Galak Tika. The concert will feature original works by the duo, East Coast premieres of Touching All Bases/di mana-mana by I Nyoman Wenten and Elaine Barkin and Transfigured Light by Rob Kyr and works by Jay Cloidt, James Sellars and Todd Winkler.

Information: x3-2826.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 7, 1997.

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