Ladrang Kembang Lintang

The Ladrang Kembang Lintang is a Javanese Gamelan piece from Central Java. The piece begins, like Kembang Pacar, with sporadic sound, like the random ringing of wind chimes. Underneath these bell sounds is the low and peaceful singing of the suling, the Gamelan flute. When listening to the piece, we discussed the slightly delayed call-and-response between the gongs, sarons, and bonangs. Personally, I did not hear the call-and-response element of the musical interaction. To me, it sounded like two very distinct movements carrying on. The gongs, sarons, and bonangs were continuing to contract their cyclical melodies, with the kendang entering and setting a more constant rhythm. Yet, the suling is carrying on, undisturbed, underneath the melody, eerily slow, sounding like a moan. It is also playing at an interval relatively higher than the other instruments although down a few octaves, highlighting its difference. Together, these two separate movements create a richly variant and complex musical work. From here, the higher-toned instruments speed up and increase in volume as the kendang becomes steadier, begging the question: does the quiet suling get lost in the noise or is it disappearing altogether? 


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