11.08.2012

Show of the Week: Metallophonie

This semester we’re doing it. Bringing it back, I suppose. No matter, here we go:

For the first of this semester’s Show of the Week, Program Director Arielle Edelman selected Jamie Yelland’s great gamelan show, Metallophonie (Tuesdays @ noon).

Here’s what Jamie had to say:

1. How would you describe yourself? That’s a hard question. In a few words? How about, “multifaceted”, or “overcaffeinated”. I hate describing myself; I prefer to slowly divulge secrets and let people form their own opinions…

2. How would you describe the show? 
Metallophonie showcases gong music from around the world. In reality it’s mostly classical gamelan from Java and Bali, or contemporary American pieces that incorporate gamelan, because those are what I know and like best. But sometimes I play gong music from Sumatra, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand. Lately I’ve been finding some cool minimalist music that borrows from gamelan sounds without using any of the instruments (e.g. Steve Reich).

People often seem surprised that there’s enough gong music in the world to play on a radio show, and that it’s often part of refined classical traditions. Metallophonie aims to bring some amazing, complex music from another part of the world into the Oberlin community. I always hope that what I’m playing is a pleasant surprise for listeners.

3. What inspires you to do your show?
I started getting really into gamelan when I took the Intro to Javanese Gamelan EXCO two years ago. Then I went to Java over winter term last year to study music intensively, thanks to a Shansi grant, and now I teach that same EXCO. I would say that I have a moderate obsession with Javanese gamelan music, and I have to share it with the community somehow. Some people at Oberlin know what gamelan is, but most don’t know that we have opportunities to hear and play gamelan at Oberlin. I try to announce that every once in a while on the radio, hoping that people will like the music enough to check it out in person.

4. What are you listening to RIGHT NOW?
Currently, I am listening to Ensemble Modern’s rendition of Frank Zappa’s “Night School”. If I had to pick an all-time favorite musical figure, Zappa would probably be the one.

5. What is your favorite show on WOBC?
Mundo Mixto, which is on right before mine, is awesome. Caroline plays great music.

6. Favorite foods?
Undoubtedly the durian, which is a fruit from southeast Asia. It looks like a weapon of mass destruction, smells like “onion socks” according to one of my friends, and tastes like an incredible marriage of banana, almond, and caramelized onion. People either love it or hate it, but it’s the kind of thing you have to eat at least once just to say you’ve done it.

7. Favorite holidays?
Election Day, duh. When else do you feel so good about partying on Tuesday night?

8. Final thoughts?
Are you looking for something fun to do next semester? Take the Intro to Javanese Gamelan EXCO!!

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