Gamelan Dharma Swara - Synesthesia

from Synesthesia by Gamelan Dharma Swara & Mayer / Kuehne / Molinaro

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Pressed on 180 gram vinyl. woo boy!

    Each handmade cover in this limited edition is unique. The print making process developed by Joel Mellin uses an aparatus created to demonstrate cymatics—the visual study of sound.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Synesthesia via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Joel Mellin, composer

A contemporary work for Balinese semara dana gamelan that melds and juxtaposes traditional Balinese compositional paradigms and performance techniques with Western melodic structure, harmonic choices, and directed improvisation. Bold and reserved. Overt and subtle. Stately and amorphous.

One sense informs another—automatically and involuntarily. Letters have color. A is orange and B is mauve. What's beyond Z? Numbers have distance. 2 is farther than 1 and 3 farther still. Tuesday is uncertain and Wednesday hopeful. One sense imbues another. Different instruments dance together, fluidly passing slightly somber kinetic energy. A rest is a light breath but still has weight—it's heavy and pregnant. The gamelan is scalding, purple, lava—slowly reaching its boiling point. Synesthesia is not an affliction—it is a blessing.


from Synesthesia, released February 1, 2013
Gamelan Dharma Swara Musicians
Lela Chapman (Ugal), Nick Chen (Pemade), Phillip Front (Gong), Eric Hung (Calung), Ardi Kuhn (Kantilan), Robert Krug (Kantilan), Liz Leininger (Gentorag), Victoria Lo (Pemade), Mara Mayer (Kajar), Nathan McKee (Calung), Joel Mellin (Jegogan / Bowed Pemade), Christopher Romero (Reyong), Kadek Saptanyana (Ceng Ceng), Putu Saptanyana (Kendang), Matthew Talmage (Reyong)

Synesthesia was performed on a semara dana gamelan courtesy Chistopher Romero.

An online installation of Synesthesia is available as a playable score at


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joel mellin Brooklyn, New York

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