Gamelan Pacifica

The Seattle branch of Indonesia’s exotic percussion orchestra

One of the world’s most bizarre and intriguing inventions for making music out of noise is the Indonesian gamelan. An ornate assemblage of mostly metal-based percussion—from racks of ribs that resemble xylophones for the soprano notes, to collections of medium-sized pots of varying girths for the tenor notes, all the way down to large hanging gongs for the bass notes—a gamelan orchestra is a visual curiosity as much as a rare auditory treat. To Western ears accustomed to pop, the gamelan can sound confusing and alien, but give it a chance: it’s not the type of performance you’ll get to hear very often in your life unless you live in Java or Bali. And seeing the gamelan is as much a part of the experience as hearing it. Lucky for you, Seattle has the accomplished Gamelan Pacifica, and they’re performing today for your lunch break at Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave.,, 684-7171. Free. Noon-1 p.m. BRION KINNE

Thu., Jan. 17, noon, 2008

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