by Evan Ziporyn
June 2003, Cantaloupe Records
1. Head 1
2. Head 2 / Scene 1
5. Meditasi / Pesta Raksasa (mp3, excerpt)
7. Forest / Tari Subali / Quiet Battle / Loud Battle / Priest
8. Tabuh Gari
I Wayan Wija - Voice / storyteller
Wendy Sutter, cello
Robert Black, bass
Lisa Moore, piano
Eduardo Leandro, percussion
Mark Stewart, guitar
Evan Ziporyn, clarinets
Produced by Evan Ziporyn.
Mixed and Edited by Evan Ziporyn and Christine Southworth.
Recorded live by Joel Gordon, Kresge Little Theater, MIT, Cambridge, MA 2001.
Shadow Bang is a theater piece combining aspects of Balinese traditional shadow puppetry with western stage design and music. Like all Balinese wayang, it is based the Hindu epics, in this case a very tangential episode from the Ramayana. In keeping with tradition, Pak Wija embellishes and digresses, creating stories within stories and focusing on Balinese folk characters who have been inserted into the original Indian story over the years. While the gods and heroes of Hindu mythology sing and speak in stylized Kawi language, the Balinese characters - Twalen, Merdah, Sangut and Delam - speak in everyday language (in this case, English) and serve as a bridge between the cosmic and the mundane. This is a live recording, trimmed of sections that require dialogue or visuals to be enjoyed. A brief synopsis:
SCENE 1 - the brothers Sangut and Delam philosophize and insult one another while waiting for their master, the demon Dundhubhi.
ANGKAT - Dunhdubhi's army goes forth, seeking suitable enemies to conquer.
OCEAN - Arriving at water's edge, the brothers stand in awe, waiting for Dundhubhi to challenge the Ocean itself to battle. Ocean declines the challenge: its liquid form and ebb-and-flow make it too passive. It suggests Mountain as a more worthy opponent, and the demon departs.
MEDITASI/PESTA RAKSASA - A hermit wanders atop the mountain, preparing to meditate. He is interrupted by Dunhdubhi's army, who throw a party. Mountain also refuses battle, claiming immobility, and sends Dundhubhi to fight Subali, the Monkey King.
FROGS - Sounds of the forest, a solo chorus by Pak Wija.
FOREST - Twalen and his son Merdah , servants to the Monkey King, cavort with various animals while waiting for Subali's arrival.
TARI SUBALI - Subali dances, and Dundhubhi challenges him to battle..
QUIET BATTLE/LOUD BATTLE/PRIEST'S CURSE - The demon and monkey do battle in various incarnations; Subali finally vanquishes Dundhubhi, casting his body atop the sacred mountain. Priest Matanga, caretaker of the mountain, curses Subali for despoiling his land.
TABUH GARI - The story ends, the puppets are purified and go home.