This journey provides us with three things that make the sweet music flourish:
- TIME – Big, fat chunks of unscheduled hours.
- EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM – We decide together whether the afternoon is best spent learning a new song or long division.
- INSPIRATION – Can we imitate the rhythms of the gamelan? How is the violin similar to the ancient rebab? Theater, music, and art are at the heart of daily culture. The inspiration to sing and dance also comes from spending so much time together. (Go ahead, roll your eyes, it’s true.)
- We are not professional musicians.
- Our recordings resemble amateur hour in the living room, except we’re not in our living room, we’re all over SE Asia.
- We’re as moody as most musically-inclined people. Some of these recordings were made with sweat, tears, and tantrums.
“Hey Brother” by Avicii was a special request of Grandpop’s (from whom we inherited our singing voices – thank you very much). Big-sis, Bro and Lil-sis are incredibly lucky to have a team of loving grandparents who wish we weren’t so far away right now. They were our fan club long before we were Far Away Five.
living in the moment
As a special message for our Student Stage Camps friends back in Philly, we’re covering one of our favorite feel-good songs by Jason Mraz.
Balinese boys can dance
Legong is a traditional form of theater dance that most children learn in Bali. Lil-sis was riveted when we stumbled into this rehearsal taking place at the palace temple in Ubud.
the sound of gamelan
Gamelan is a xylophone-type instrument that can be heard anywhere and everywhere in Bali: religious ceremonies, dance performances, museums, schools, markets, you name it. The rhythms are complicated, and the tone sequences can sound a bit monotonous to our western ears. The sound of gamelan has become a familiar and comforting musical backdrop for the first leg of our journey.
One night recently in our rental house in Chiang Mai, all three stooges (I mean kids) started an improv jam while they were playing a game of “recording studio”. It’s probably self-absorbed to post all 3+ minutes of the jam, but I just couldn’t edit this, and hey, it’s my blog so I’ll do what I want to. Big-Sis on violin, Bro on guitar, Lil-Sis on lead vocals.