Ketut Suwentra, the founder and director of Suar Agung was born at west bali, Negara Jembrana regency on 12/12/1948. He is a talented artist in music and balinese dance, and specializes in Jegog music.
His son I Gede Oka Artha Negara wrote about the music of Bali:
“Jegog = Jegog is a type of Balinese music using fourteen giant bamboo xylophones. Jegog music is indigenous to Bali’s western region of Jembrana, in particular a number of villages around the Jembrana capital city, Negara.
Mebarung = Jegog is not only known for its grand dimensions. It has another unique aspect—a ‘musical combat’ whereby two ‘teams’ play in competition for supremacy. First, one team begins to play, while the members of the other watch till their opponents seem to be reaching their peak—and then the second team starts to play too. This is strategic: they want not so much to overshadow the first team but to break up its rhythm and stride. In response the first must pull back, and eventually the second team too completes its turn, the players near state of exhaustion palpable. The audience then makes its choice as to which has shown itself supreme.
Throughout the mebarung you’ll see the serious intent on each musician’s face, as they push themselves to their physical limit in long bursts of unrelenting percussion, driving themselves as if in a group trance, or experiencing a group high. Their prowess and their power are unforgettable.
I come from a long line of Balinese musicians and dancers. My father, I Ketut Suwentra (aka Pekak Jegog = Grandfather Jegog), was my first teacher and arguably the most famous Jegog artist in the world. My father and uncle, I Nyoman Jayus, established a performance group in 1979 called Gamelan Suar Agung.
My father was the first artist to bring Jegog to Japan …
And this is a very rare and very beautiful album, afusion album between music fromBali and african music … played together with Victor Vidal Paz (called Django Mango) a multicreative Catalan born in Barcelona, Spain who is an expert for african drums music.
What a great fusion album !
Django Mango (vocals, tabla, african drums)
Ismet Ruchimat (kechapi, kantele harps)
Gamelan Suar Agung Orchestra conducted by Ketut Suwentra.
01. Bambu Trance 2.54
02. Bali Meets Africa 3:37
03. Sunda Bali 3:28
04. Akuna Matata (No Problem) 3:28
05. Sexy Durian 3:52
06. Song To The Himbas of Namibia 3:37
07. Kuta Cowboy – Jakarta Play Boy 3.29
08. Sweet Pain Of Sadness (Indian Rhythm 7 Beats) 3:59
09. Boring, No Thank’s 5.19
10. Playing Music With the Birds 3.16
All songs written by Ketut Suwentra & Django Mango