Reuse, Recycle, and ROCK
October 12, 2009 10:07 AM   Subscribe

Electric Junkyard Gamelan is the brainchild of bandleader and composer Terry Dame, and fuses Dame's passions of composing, inventing and building. Originally inspired by traditional Gamelan music from Bali, the group recycles and repurposes everyday objects into musical instruments. While some of their songs do indeed resemble the hypnotic percussive melodies of a Balinese/Javanese gamelan orchestra (The Nutbutter Challenge), other tunes strike out into new, distinctly urban American directions (Ode to Fred Beans). Following the band's motto, "Reuse, Recycle and ROCK," instruments are fashioned from coat hangers and rubber bands, bed frames, old farm equipment, turntable platters, clay pots, saw blades and truck springs. The "Big Barp" rubber-band harp makes a particularly unusual sound.

Watching the band play is a fundamental part of enjoying their music: Brooklyn Independent Television interviewed the band, with lots of great description about how they play; there's another great interview (with lots of great music) with David Garland on WNYC's Spinning on Air (where I first heard of the band). You can find photos of the band on Flickr to get a closer look at their instruments.

Electric Junkyard Gamelan has three albums (Life on Marz, Live from HERE, and the self-titled Electric Junkyard Gamelan).

Live in New York? They're performing tonight at Joe's Pub.

Sources for the descriptions in the main part of this post: EJG's about the band page, this post on Music for Maniacs, and yesterday's epsiode description at Spinning On Air.
posted by ocherdraco (5 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I really like this stuff. Thanks, ocherdraco.
posted by box at 10:17 AM on October 12, 2009

Great, rich post. Junkyard music gets me every time.
posted by mediareport at 10:47 AM on October 12, 2009

I went to CalArts with Terry- so good to see her doing so well!
posted by cherryflute at 4:12 PM on October 12, 2009

I must say I have a weakness for odd handmade instruments. These are some of the coolest posts on this site. I'm not the most excited about the music here, but I do like the process and like the weird instruments.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:16 PM on October 12, 2009

Oh, wow. The Big Barp link did soooo right. I listened to Ode to Fred and Nutbutter, and just really felt the need for some reed. Then Big Barp added the reed. I really like that. I love this sort of sound. Kind of like pre-industrial age industrial sound (perhaps more correctly, post-industrial). I have always loved noise that skips around into the realm of music. Much nicer than music that insists on entering the realm of noise.
posted by Goofyy at 11:10 PM on October 12, 2009

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