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Features and Reviews

Balawan’s guitar playing, characterized by rapid-fire attack and technology enhancement (he employs a guitar synthesizer and a rack of effects) and Balinese/Indonesian aesthetic"sets him apart from other Balinese popular musicians. Fast guitar playing and moving lines characterize his hybrid pieces...His music and approach to hybridity have changed over the years. In the beginning (1997), he relied mostly on quoting gamelan pieces in his compositions; later he developed, along with the gamelan musicians, original melodies, interlocking parts, and techniques...Balawan’s hybrid music reflects his life. He appropriated the global forms of jazz and metal into the music of his first music experience, gamelan, and combined these to formulate his sense of aesthetics, which features speed and intensity: items shared by all three synthesized forms...Music hybridity has been ongoing in Bali and reflected increasing levels of globalization since the early 20th century. Balawan’s life and music parallel the 21st Century period of rapidly increasing transnationalism and globalization. To some extent, he is just another social actor in the larger arc of Balinese hybridization, but one with his own agency and vision to fuse disparate styles into a contemporary synthesis. " from "Music Hybridity in Bali: The Agency & Performance Style of Guitarist I Wayan Balawan" by Professor David Harnish, Bowling Green State University

Source: Other Minds Festival: OM 16: Panel Discussion & Concert 2