Despite the fact that many of us are hunkered down in quarantine, you can still book a flight on this week’s transmission Ambient Traveler 2 on radio program Hearts of Space for “an ambient fan yearning for travel to exotic cultures” (thank you Stephen Hill). Music from my album Lotus Dreams, as well as music […]

When researching Indonesia’s treasure trove of indigenous instruments, I came across a tube zither, harp-like traditional string instrument, called Sasando. The instrument is native to Rote Island, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province of the Lesser Sunda Islands, and is named after the Rote Island dialect word ”sasandu”, which translates freely into “vibrating” or “sounding vessel”.  There are […]

There are many important stages to finishing an album, one of the last steps being the mixing and mastering process performed by a sound engineer who uses sophisticated software to ensure that the music will sound great on all playback devices. For my latest album, Lotus Dreams, Anchorage (Alaska) based sound engineer Peter Ratner (who […]

A Sutra (Sanskrit: discourse or thread) is a literary form of Mahayana Buddhist scripture that describes the path you must take to achieve the pure distillation of wisdom (Nirvana). One of their most famous Sutras is the Heart Sutra (Koro Sutra) that since its existence has been recited by millions of Buddhists worldwide. La Koro […]

The Exposition Universelle (World Fair) of 1889 was when Paris celebrated the revolution’s centennial and consolidated one hundred years of industry, art and social ideals that flowed from the great events of 1789 – a turning point in the history of French music, and modern music in general. Jakarta’s Simfonia Orchestra and Oratorio Society, led […]

Minang House, reflects the exact proportions of a Sumatran clan house. Named after the ethnic indigenous people of the Minangkabau Highlands of West Sumatra it was especially built for the Bambu Indah hotel near Ubud (Bali). Contrary to traditional rainforest timber, it was constructed entirely from black bamboo, and serves as a multi-purpose hall where […]

Created by 20th century rice farmers, the Rindik is part of the Balinese Gamelan Orchestra. This 12-keyed bamboo xylophone, tuned to a fairly even-tempered scale, conjures up images of breezy rice fields and sunny days. Last week, I tried playing this instrument with my husband when we visited the Setia Darma House of Masks and […]

Gipar drove us in his motorized becak (motorized rickshaw) through the streets of Yogyakarta and we arrived early at the local Tabubu Ethnic Music Shop that we wanted to visit. A couple of Angklung were hanging outside the entrance to the store, and while we waited for the store to open Gipar taught me how […]

Although not an expert on this topic, I feel that as a Dutch who recently moved to Indonesia, Retronesia deserves a place on my blog. In Tariq Khalil’s fascinating and unique style guide, he recounts “a story that starts around 1950 when Dutch engineers and architects were doing great business delivering endless projects under Indonesia’s nation […]