It's often said that nature abhors a vacuum, but it seems like it abhors an outdoor movie and music event when it comes to the annual Square Lake Music and Film Festival. Rain and thunderstorms seem to bedevil organizer Paul Creager's efforts almost every year, and this past summer, they had to shut down the whole thing early when an electrical storm threatened everyone's safety. But weather won't be stopping International Novelty Gamelan from performing their score for the 1926 animated feature "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" this Thursday at the Cedar Cultural Center. Creager has put together this Square Lake Festival redux to make sure their hard work didn't go to waste, and the night will kick off at 7 pm with a banjo performance by Paul Metzger, followed by thirty minutes of local film, then the performance by International Novelty Gamelan, and then close out with more local film.
And just what the heck is a gamelan? It's a traditional Javanese (and Balinese) instrument composed of many different percussion and resonating (i.e. gongs, xylophones) pieces that make a kind of ensemble when played together. Elaine Evans was kind enough to sit down with me and answer some questions about International Novelty Gamelan and their process for composing music for the oldest surviving feature-length animated film.More »