The video contains footage of legendary Balinese musician I Wayan Lotring (1898-1983) dancing and playing in 1972. I combined this footage with a segment of Lotring’s composition ‘Liar Samas’, played by himself and his orchestra in 1972. You can find the complete recording on a marvellous 2cd-album, released by Ocora, titled ‘Hommage a Wayan Lotring’, an album I highly recommend, a very worthwhile buy if you like gamelan music from Bali.
In the 1920’s and 1930’s Lotring was an absolute sensation on Bali, revolutionising musical form of gamelan pieces on kebyar, pelegongan and gender wayang, and in so doing paving the way for others on Bali to take gamelan into new directions.
I would expect Canadian composer Colin McPhee to have filmed him in the 1930’s but haven’t seen that footage (I’ve only seen a few photographs of Lotring by McPhee). In his book ‘A House in Bali’ McPhee meets Lotring and even devotes a chapter to him. A nice read that brings you in the midst of musical history on Bali.
Recently published on YouTube in two videos: selected segments of unique footage from 1972 of the legendary Balinese composer, musician, dancer I Wayan Lotring (approx.1898-1983).
Lotring is arguably Bali’s most influential gamelan composer/musician of the twentieth century. And of course a great dancer as well. We see Lotring at old age dancing and playing his own compositions with fellow musicians. When playing, we see Lotring mostly as the leader of the ensemble, playing the kendang (drum). Segments are shown of the famous 1972 performances that have been published on Ocora in 1974 (rereleased in 1989). Below you’ll find part two. At 2’40” in this video the famous piece ‘Gambangan’ is played and from 6’16” there’s my very favourite piece ‘Liar Samas’ 🙂
Great as this footage of Lotring might be, there are also two regrettable minuses regarding this material:
1. It’s in black and white (filmed from a black and white tv screen?). I can’t imagine (ethno)musicologist Jacques Brunet shot this material in black and white. Moreover, his recordings of these sessions are presented on Ocora along with colour photos in the cd booklet.
2. Sound and image are not sync. It would be very easy to correct this. I’m always surprised to see this. Why do uploaders not correct this before they publish? As a consequence we don’t get to see the real artistic beauty of Lotring’s dancing along with the music and of his (drum)playing with the orchestra. Ooooww!!! 🙁