If you didn’t walk by the Music Building last Wednesday, you missed out on a real treat. The Balinese Gamelan Ensemble (of which I am a member) gave its end-of-year concert outside by the tuning fork sculpture. We all got dressed up in our Balinese costumes (sorry, I have no picture!) and sent all the music we learned over the year into the sky.
I had so much fun playing in that last concert, and being a part of the ensemble throughout the year was a fulfilling experience. I am so grateful that I get to go to a university where I can experience and learn about another culture first hand from some of the best in the world. I have a new appreciation for world music and honestly I really want to go to Bali and hear a legitimate Balinese gamelan ensemble! I feel like it would be mind-blowingly amazing.
Experiencing Balinese music has given me a new perspective on my own music making. In Gamelan Ensemble, the main thing is to have a good time and share your energy with your fellow music-makers and audience members. Sometimes I feel like that can be lost a bit in Western music; we get a bit too caught up in trying to achieve perfection in every aspect of our playing that it all gets a bit too serious for my liking. I’m going to try to incorporate more of that fun-loving attitude into my own playing, and get back to why I decided on music in the first place.
That’s not to say that I’m not going to do my best in terms of technique, but I think that for my music to be the best it can be, and also for it to be the most fulfilling for me, it has to come from a place of just loving making the music.