Bali: Beats of Paradise (2018)
Bali: Beats of Paradise is an original documentary that pulls back the curtain on gamelan music and Nyoman Wenten - a celebrated Indonesian composer who sets out to pay homage to the sacred but shrinking tradition of Balinese music and dance.
- Music documentary, featuring Grammy Award Winning Artist Judith Hill (20 Feet From Stardom) and Indonesian composer Nyoman Wenten, pulls back the curtain on Gamelan music.
Gamelan, Indonesian traditional music, has been used in the film Avatar, the TV show Star Trek as well as the Nintendo game Mario Bros. Nyoman Wenten is one of Bali's most accomplished and versatile dancers and musicians. For the past 40 years he has devoted his life to teaching others. He is also known for his creative East-West fusions. Wenten has composed musical works that include a unique fusion of gamelan music and Western elements, collaborating with artists such as David Rosenboom, Morton Subotnick, Sardono Kusumo, Vinny Golia, William Miranda and Larry Reed, among others.
Wenten currently teaches in the department of Ethnomusicology at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music and CalArts School of Music. Gamelan music has spread to 49 out of 50 states in the US, but is sadly shrinking in its homeland. Wenten wanted to leave something special behind before retiring to Bali so he set out to pay homage to the sacred yet fading tradition of Balinese music and dance.
Coincidentally, Grammy Award-winning singer Judith Hill was looking for a distinctive sound for a new piece of music she was composing. She was intrigued by Gamelan music and approached Wenten to discuss the blending of musical styles.
As Hill and Wenten worked in the studio on "Queen of the Hill," a song blending funk and Gamelan music, they decided to take their collaboration one step further - a music video. With the fusion of two musical styles, Hill and Wenten wanted the stark contrast of the desert with the beautifully colored traditional Balinese costumes. Shot in Southern California's Joshua Tree Desert, the music video is a kaleidoscope of funk and traditional Balinese dance and costumes showcasing Hill's ethereal vocals.