Discursive (Co)motion: Cosmological Aggregates of Gamelan Baleganjur
For many Balinese Hindu peoples, the music of Gamelan Baleganjur provides cosmological comfort, regional pride, and political agency. Its sonic presence is loud, abrasive, and precise, which provide the locus for local ideologies of noise or keramaian. Baleganjur mitigates the social imposition of foreign ideals (i.e. expat communities, tourism, festivilization) with indigenous cosmologies of order and comfort. In Balinese Hindu ceremonies, Baleganjur often announces the presence of a village community and subsequently, the heroic (kepahlawanan) character of its region. Often times, these performances are enacted simultaneously with myriad of other ensembles in cosmopolitan spaces. This presentation highlights a fragment of a larger body of work on Baleganjur, Heavy Metal, and Post-Coloniality. I will discuss the discursive functions of Baleganjur as they are practiced today through performances of glocal sociability. Focusing onreligious festivals, political rallies, and what I theorize as a Noise Aggregate, I argue that Baleganjur, as an agent of comforting noise, affords the conditions of Balinese performativity in reclaiming indigeneity.
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Putu Tangkas Adi Hiranmayena is an artist-scholar currently holding positions as faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
His research interrogates discursive conceptions of “noise” in Bali and the United States as they intersect with Cosmology, Indigeneity, and Performance. He focuses on how people in places with long colonial histories reclaim Indigenous identity through popular idioms. As a music practitioner and composer, Hiranmayena continues to perform in improvisation/noise ensembles and creates contemporary works for Gamelan and Heavy Metal. He is co-founder of Balinese experimental project, ghOstMiSt and artistic director of Denver, Colorado’s non-profit organization, Gamelan Tunas Mekar.