Friday, April 27, 2012

New plans and TWS fundraising

A Bali Arts Institute professor, Nyoman Windha, called Pak Terip a couple days ago to ask him to play a Western collaboration at the Arts Festival. Kosil is going home for good at the same time in early June, and since I'm something of an unwelcome pet of Terip's here I'm going to make passage home Stateside. The situation reminds me of Bob Brown's dog in Payangan, who was abused when he was home in California and ended up a fearful, cranky animal like most Balinese dogs.

Exception to my stagnant state of mind here: I finally decided to break out of my ground state of passivity and learn to make compound resonator keys, the building block of my teacher's bamboo instruments. 

Here is a prototypical example. The ones on the right I cracked in the process of hacking and sawing -- granted, the saw is way oversize for the job -- but the others are passable keys with compound tone! I didn't even cut myself, though my arm woke me last night with tendonitis pain and the pads of both thumbs are sore from handling the knife in unfamiliar ways. Terip took pity on my efforts after a couple of bad takes and coached me a little; his touch with the same knife shaped the bamboo like wax.

Which brings me to my fundraiser for The Walden School, a summer music camp that uses innovative and celebratory techniques to develop musicianship and composition practice. Kids who can't afford it can apply for a scholarship, which is where the money goes. My goal is $300, and once your gifts pass the $100 mark the Board will match everything I raise dollar for dollar!

What's the fun in giving this time? I'm going to make compound keys to standard -- no easy feat as all my examples have been just passable -- one a day. $10 sponsors one key. Pledge another $3 per tingklik key and I will attempt these flat, thick bamboo pieces best for temperate climates. If we make it to the tingklik keys it'll be good news for instrument making Stateside.

At the end of my project I'll record and post the scale produced as a thank-you. If you want, request a small key as a souvenir and I'll try to fit it in my suitcase. Thanks also to the Balinese who are donating scrap and sale quality bamboo for my project, and a big thank-you to my teacher.

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