So I have been playing with the Ngudi Waras South Mountain Gamelan Community for a few months now. Sometimes I play Slenthem, a bronze metalaphone. Occasionally I fumble my way through on the Gender, a more complicated metalaphone played with two hands. More often than not I just sit with the old Bapak who sing and soak up the vibe and try to sing and nod and smile when I know that everyone is laughing at me for some reason. Yesterday we played for a few hours at the Bersih Desa ceremony in the village of Monggol in Gunung Kidul south of Yogyakarta where we normally rehearse. Bersih Desa translates to clean the village, and is a ceremony that occurs frequently at this time of the year. It is a time for the village to get together and clean the village, make repairs, eat, and offer sacrifices (often in the shape of a huge cone of food). There is music, dance, Wayang Kulit, costumes, and dangdut (I am not going to go into to dangdut right now, but it is pretty amazing music, that is also very cheesy. Just google it. You will get a prettty good idea). Pretty fun place to be.
I was asked to sing the song Bersih Desa as a part of the gamelan ensemble. Now I am no singer, but I obliged and here is the result. Apparently it is very funny because of my facial expressions. Normally Javanese are very reserved expression wise when singing, so this is quite abnormal. I guess mostly when i perform I have a saxophone stuck in my mouth so I am not really aware of my facial expressions. So here it is. Have a good laugh. And then go to a Bersih Desa, because it really is amazing.