Oleh Jagat Bali
Jagat Bali News - Biografi Tokoh
I Wayan Balawan is more than just a figure in musical industry, an adept and unique guitar player known for his tapping technique. He has a broad vision to elaborate and promote traditional Balinese music to domestic people includes Balinese Youngsters, and to international audience.
Born on 9 September 1973 in Batuan, Sukawati, Gianyar, Balawan raised in a big family of Balinese traditional gamelan. One of his uncles own an art studio. "I learned to play gamelan since I was six. In Batuan, Sukawati, it was a compulsory for all children", he said on interview with Kompas.com.
As the time goes and Balawan grow up, he had never thought to leave Balinese gamelan, even after he learned acoustic guitar at the age of eight, gain proficiency of playing electric guitar at 10, and form his first rock band when he was 12. Balawan's encounter to guitar and modern music -jazz, pop, rock, and blues- encourage him even more to carry and develop Balinese traditional music, especially gamelan, in his own way. He feels sorry to see Balinese gamelan only played in hotels' lobby, with lightweight fee for the performers. "I keep thinking that Balinese should learn more on how to extend Balinese gamelan and music, to show the world that they are worth to be paid well, so they can make a living from it," he said.
In 1997, Balawan graduated his Music Diploma at Australian Institute of Music. Later he founded Sanggar Batuan Ethnic (Batuan Ethnic Art Studio) to fulfill his ambition, which is promoting Balinese music, especially gamelan. "I took young people in my village to join on my stage and give them opportunity to perform in various places, so they are not stuck in hotel shows or traditional ceremonies." he explains. He also team up Batuan Ethnic Fusion, a musical group that integrate Balinese gamelan to modern music, especially jazz. With his concept, Batuan Ethnic Fusion exists to introduce traditional Balinese music to various circles, and even had the chance to perform in Europe, Australia, Japan, China and Hongkong. Lately in February-March 2011, the group performed and gave workshop in the US.
He launched 6 albums, consist of his solo project, as Batuan Ethnic Fusion, or collaborate with other famous musicians. The albums are "GloBALIsm" (1999), "Balawan" (2001, released in Germany), "Magic Fingers" (2005, "Trisum" (2007, trio performance with epic Indonesian guitarists, I Dewa Gede Budjana and Tohpati Arie Hutomo), "See You Soon" (2009), and "Trisum: Five in One" (2011, with Budjana, Tohpati, the bassist Indro Harjodikoro and drummer Echa).
The producer executives of recording company gave him the chance to insert ethnic Balinese music to his songs. This policy establish Balawan's name as a guitar player famous in his tapping technique and double neck electric guitar, and support his vision to send Balinese music to the world.
News from: balawanustour.com