For a long time now, I’ve been haunted by Gamelan music. Unique to Bali, it is part of everyday life (played at Festivals, ceremonies and funerals, events which seem to take place frequently), by an orchestra (Gamelan means orchestra) typically of local people.
Gamelan is a rich, hypnotic, repetitive, sophisticated music, created by players each playing quote simple lines of music - the simplest being the deep gong (that’s where the word comes from).
While in Bali, we were invited to a funeral from one of the people of the village where we were staying. Sadly, it was not of a 90 year old man, but the 35 year old wife of our Bemo driver. It took place right at the edge of the water, on a beautiful sunny day - the kind of day you hope for every day of your life. The village Gamelan was there, and I had the rare privilege of standing right along side them as they played. Being surrounded by the sound, feeling it reverberate through your skin, was perhaps the most uplifting musical experience of my life (which has included concerts by the likes of U2 many many years ago, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, the La Scala orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti, and many others).
Standing there, I also felt I knew where Brian Eno got about 50% of his tricks from ;-)