The Miracle of Bali: Recital of Music


This is a great half-hour film of a type that the BBC used to produce on a regular basis when the corporation was still pursuing the Reithian mission of informing as well as entertaining. The Miracle of Bali was originally a series of three half-hour films broadcast in 1969: The Midday Sun, Night, and Recital of Music.


The narrator is David Attenborough who leads us through a range of different music and dance performances from the island. This form of music is very familiar to me—I have several albums of gamelan music from Bali and Java—but I’ve never seen the instruments themselves presented in such detail before. There’s a taste of most of the main styles of Balinese music, beginning with a furious recital from a gamelan orchestra. Three dances follow, then the film ends with a stunning performance of the Kecak, or Monkey Chant. This is a common feature of recordings from Bali but seeing it staged takes the performance—which also includes dance and theatre—to a different level entirely. Watch it here. Via MetaFilter.

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