Intro music: MekarBhuanaIntroductions (Bekah to provide):Rebekah:American doctoral candidate in ethnomusicology and longtime devotee to music in Bali and greater Indonesia. She completed her dissertation research on the independent music industry in Bali, funded by a Fulbright scholarship. She has lived and worked in Bali since 2008. Rebekah is currently the production manager for live music concerts and festivals. Rebekah is also an event organizer, public speaker, and freelance writer.Robi:Robi is one of Indonesia’s staunchest and loudest defenders of the natural environment. He has been working in the music industry for more than 17 years. He is founder and frontman for Indonesian rock bands Navicula and GanjilCo-founder of environmental program and media source, Akarumput, licensed permaculture designer, media consultant, public speaker, freelance writer, and event organizer.Robi is from Pupuan, Bali and was raised by a family of farmers. He believes that Balinese culture—including its spiritual beliefs and practices—are best preserved by showing respect for the land and returning to sustainable agricultural practices. Rebekah and Robi participate regularly in speaking engagements about music and spirituality in Bali. Rebekah offers an exploration of Bali as an anthropologist and Balinese gamelan performer; Robi as a Balinese, musician, and philosopher who has spent his entire life questioning the meaning of Bali’s spiritual practices. Bekah: Opening Question: What is your knowledge of Balinese music? What have you heard? What do you know about the spiritual practices of Bali?
Bekah: Opening Exercise: A musical meditation. Try to identify and remember as many sounds as possible in the following recording. Music Example: Odalan in the Distance and Nighttime Soundscapes
Bekah:Prior to the introduction of Hinduism to Bali, Balinese religious life centered upon the ancestors & deified spirits of the rice and water and important rituals surrounding agricultural cycles. Many of these deities are still honored today. Rituals of pre-Hindu Bali combined animism, polytheism, & ancestor veneration and followed the seasons of agricultural life.Robi: Explains animism/dynamism and agriculture in pre-Hindu BaliExamples: Tumpeklandep, is an example of an animistic rite. Odalan is an dynamistic rite.
Bekah: Archaeological evidence of Tantric, Shaivite, and Buddhist sects in Indonesia dates to the 4th or 5th century AD, so early influence of “Hinduism” in Bali. Hinduism was firstly widely practiced after the influx of Hindus from Java during the mass migration of the Majapahit rajas (kings) to Bali, as they fled Muslim persecution. The Majapahit courts were also heavily influenced by Mahayana Buddhism due to trade with India, so what we generally call “Hinduism” in Indonesia is actually a blend of Shaivite and Buddhist traditions. New spiritual traditions were incorporated into the Balinese animistic/dynamistic complexThough the Indian gods came, the Balinese ancestors (kemulan) remained the primary benefactors of prayer and ceremonyThe most important temples are dedicated to the ancestors, as deified beings.Robi: Pura Panti, Pura Pakibon. Pura Besakih: “Island Sangkah.” Not for gods, but for the ancestors. The icons to the gods were added later, after the introduction of Hinduism. But still Balinese pray to the direction of their ancestors. Every family has their own space to pray at Besakih. Rebekah: Foundational belief: The basic aim of Balinese Hinduism is to purify so that the individual and the community will have the appropriate spiritual energy to exist peacefully, productively, and healthfully in a dangerous world —Fred Eiseman
Bekah:At its root, Balinese spirituality maintains the existence of Sekala, that which can be seen or sensed (i.e. everyday reality, the Middle World) and niskala, that which cannot be seen or sensed (the Upper and Lower Worlds) (1990a:127). The boundaries between the two realms are highly penetrable; nearly all religious ceremonies and public performances require a crossing over, eitherby a deity or ancestor into sekala…The sound of musicis a bridge to the world of niskala: the upper world housing the gods & ancestors & the lower world housing lower spirits & demonsMusic Example: Bajra, the priest’s bell, and mantra: Tri Sandhya (Robi to describe)
There are five primary types of rituals/ceremonies in Bali, and may involve music, to varying degrees. Robi: (yadnya)around which the 210-day Balinese calendar (Pawukon) and Balinese life revolve (Describe and give an illustration of a ritual associated with each). ManusaYadnya:Rites for living humansPitraYadnyaRites for the ancestorsDewaYadnya: Rites for the godsGuru Yadnya: Rites for teachersBhutaYadnya:Rites for the lower spiritsRebekah: Generally, any ceremony attended by many people will include some form of musical accompaniment. But what is appropriate may be on a by-contract basis.Robi: Story about being ill as a child and father making a contract to start an angklung group in Bali, in return for my health. We’ll return to this theme of the right music for the right context shortly.
Bekah: It is a mistake to call even modern Balinese religion strictly Hinduism: Balinese spirituality was not codified as “Hinduism” until1962, and the establishment of Pancasila (the "Five Principles" of the Indonesian state) that all citizens belong to a monotheistic religion. The Balinese responded by stressing their Indian affiliation, while making a supreme deity out of Sang HyangWidhi. This initiative proved successful since Balinese religion, from then on en-titled Agama Hindu Dharma, was officially acknowledged in 1962 by the Department of Religion (Picard).Thus, the animism/dynamism of Agama Tirta became “Agama Hindu” & Brahma, Wishnu, & Siva were merged into one God (Sang HyangWidhi)Robi on the introduction of Indian gods to Balinese palaces and ancestors (The kings’ shrine was matched to the Indian Hindu map of the cardinal directions of the gods. So the king to the south becomes associated with Brahma, dll.)
Bekah:In order for balance to be maintained, Balinese present banten.Robi: Explain the concept of banten (offering to the ancestors what we as humans also enjoy) and the different kinds of offerings (for street intersections, door entrances, pelangkiran. Bekah:offerings come in many forms: beautiful fabrics, delicious foods, flowers, artwork, music, dance, and theatre for the pleasure of both the gods of the Upper World and the demons of the Lower.
Bekah: Music, as sacred offering, is as much a part of ritual as prayer or meditation, and its beauty is important: “…beauty, within ritual, is a basic ingredient of efficacy; it is a necessary component of any ceremonial activity, and in a sense, any social activity at all.”Robi: Explain what Lelambatan is. Music Example: Lelambatan:TabuhPisan
Music is religious work. “Music and art are so ingrained into religion and into daily life that until recently they had no equivalent terms in the Balinese language except as components of ritual work (karya)”
Bekah: Not all rituals are performed for the sake of good. Many are performed to honor that which is evil as well. Order and disorder coexist. “Order is personified as the gods, dewaand dewi, or bhataraand bhatari. Disorder is personified as the earth demons, bhutas and kalas.”Robi: On the importance of rituals honoring disorder. Meaning of TawurKesanga.
Bekah:“The arts, do not merely describe worlds within worlds [niskala], but invoke them, provide the means of access to them, dissolve the boundaries between the illusory mundane world of the village and the multiple realities of which it is but a part.”—Steven LansingRobi: The spiritual power of masks, musical instruments, etc: SaktiAll individuals performing spiritual work are vessels for communication with the unseen world. They are charged with sakti, as are all instruments, masks, and costumes associated with specific rituals.
Gamelan: “its sounds are directed to the deities who descend to enter their shrines for the occasion…” —Michael TenzerA gamelan is a traditionalmusical ensemble from Indonesia, typically from the islands of Java and Bali, often featuring a variety of instruments such as metallophones, xylophones, kendang (drums) and gongs; bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings.The material of gamelan, particularly the iron and bronze instruments, is also considered sacred, because of the alchemical process of transforming metal.
Bekah: All components of ritual, including music are designed to order a disordered world by restoring a state of balance. Rwabineda(1990a:2). In Balinese Hinduism, and indeed in Indic Hinduism as well, a balance is sought between opposites, especially between good and evil. One cannot exist without the other, and all ritual activity is directed toward maintaining balance. Robi: The Calonarang? (the ultimate battle between good and evil). Music Example: Gamelan Gong: Barong Dance (Excerpt)
“There are more than twenty-five different varieties of gamelan in Bali, distinguished by size, musical instruments, tuning, repertoire, context, and function”“context determines the sacredness” of musical performance in Bali In this way there is music for every place, time, and circumstance. Robi: The ensemble pictured above is gender wayang, which often accompanies the rites of yadnyamanusa, such as toothfiling, etc. It also accompanies wayangkulit, shadow theatre, a highly popular form of entertainment in Bali that often portrays stories of the Mahabaratha and Ramayana. The dalang, or puppet master, is revered much like a priest because of the spiritual power he must weild to enter the world of niskala and convey stories of the gods. Music Example: WayangKulit
This is the very old selonding. “The older the ensemble, the greater the closeness to the ancestors and the greater its accumulation of spiritual powerMusic Example: Selonding: Sekati
“The Hindu-Balinese religion requires gamelan for the successful completion of most of the tens of thousands of ceremonies undertaken yearly. Balinese music is primarily an ensemble tradition, reflecting the value of group identity over individual expressionRobi on Pregina: Definition. Music performance as civic duty and spiritual work.
Bekah What we find in Bali is a visceral encounter with the power of entertainment. The root form of the word “entertain” comes from Old French, entretenir, to hold apart. To mark as special. This is the bridge to the unseen. This is what connect human beings with their ancestors, with gods and with demons. Music, theatre, & dance entertain the ancestors, gods, demons (the inhabitants of niskala) as well as the human inhabitants of sekala, this Middle World
“What the Balinese show us, both by means of their example, and in their formal aesthetics, is that we have vastly underestimated the significance of art as a vehicle for shaping and molding the imagination, and thereby giving pattern and meaning to the world”—Steven Lansing
Music & Spirituality in Bali
Music & Spirituality in BaliPresented byI Gede Robi Supriyanto&Rebekah E. MooreYoga Barn, Bali23 March 2013
A City CacophonousThe sounds of worship:Odalan(Temple anniversary ceremony)
Reverence to all spirits, animate and inanimate: Rituals ofpre-Hindu Bali combined animism, polytheism, & ancestorveneration and followed the seasons of agrarian life.
Agama Tirta: Religion of theHoly Water• Archaeological evidence ofTantric, Shaivite, & Buddhistsects in Indonesia dates to the4th or 5th century AD• New spiritual traditions wereincorporated into the Balinesespiritual complex• Though the Indian godscame, the Balinese ancestors(kemulan) remained theprimary benefactors of prayerand ceremony
•ManusaYadnya:Rites for living humans•PitraYadnyaRites for the ancestors•DewaYadnya:Rites for the gods•Guru Yadnya:Rites for teachers•BhutaYadnya:Rites for the lower spirits
• Balinese spirituality wasnot officially called“Hinduism” until1962, when Bali wasobliged to conform to stateregulations recognizingonly monotheisticreligions• Thus, theanimism/polytheism/ancestor veneration of AgamaTirta became “Agama HinduDharma” &Brahma, Wishnu, & Sivawere merged into one God(Sang HyangWidhi)
“…beauty, withinritual, is a basicingredient of efficacy;it is a necessarycomponent of anyceremonialactivity, and in asense, any socialactivity at all.” —Edward Herbst
“Music and art are so ingrained into religion and into daily life thatuntil recently they had no equivalent terms in the Balineselanguage except as components of ritual work (karya)”—David Harnish
There is no good without evil;no light without dark• Rituals to honor the gods(dewaand dewi) as well asthe demons (bhutaandkala) so that the ideal ofcosmic equilibrium maybe achieved.• TawurKesanga(CaruAgung), the DayBefore Nyepi: Then thedemons come out to play
Taksu“The arts, do not merelydescribe worlds withinworlds [niskala], butinvoke them, provide themeans of access tothem, dissolve theboundaries between theillusory mundane worldof the village and themultiple realities ofwhich it is but a part.”—Steven Lansing
Gamelan: “its soundsare directed to thedeities who descend toenter their shrines forthe occasion…”—Michael Tenzer
• This presentation explores:– Cultural interaction andexchange– Diverse performing arts andtheir classification– An in depth look atunderground / indie music insouthern Bali– Threats to Bali’s musicaldiversityMusic in ritual to restore balanceRwaBineda: Cosmic PolarityEx. The Calonarang (Barong &Rangda)
Music: the right accompaniment for the right place, time, &circumstanceDesa, Kala, Patra
Ancient and sacred selonding: musicto honor the ancestors
Music to establish social order and civil service: Pregina
Entertain/Entretenir/to hold apartMusic, theatre, &dance entertain theancestors, gods, demons (the inhabitantsof niskala) as well asthe humaninhabitants ofsekala, this MiddleWorld
“What the Balinese showus, both by means of theirexample, and in their formalaesthetics, is that we havevastly underestimated thesignificance of art as a vehiclefor shaping and molding theimagination, and therebygiving pattern and meaning tothe world”—Steven Lansing