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One of the leaders of a Gamelan ensemble from Bali, Indonesia that performed in Singapore at Tapestry a festival of sacred music, in March 2009.
This particular group was quite large and different members take turn to play the lead right up front.
Also, the lead Gamelan in this case was rather large, comprising two sets of bronze "gongs" that stretch about 12-ft across. The player thus not only have to stretch his arms but also bend his body to the left and right in order to hit the notes at the extreme ends.
All this, however, is hidden from view by the ornate wooden carving that fronts the instrument.
So the "best" way to photograph the performance was to wait for those pauses between the music, when the player raises his arms after hitting the notes.
Incidentally, the musicians, all men, are "topless". They wear a sarong that covers up to chest level, leaving their upper bodies bare.
Part of a photo essay, The Sounds of Silence, coming up soon.
In the The Sounds of Silence photo essay.
Also by Richard Seah
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