Chandra Shukla & CM von Hausswolff

TO:122 Travelogue – ‘Bali’

CD – 5 tracks – 48:37

Release date: Friday 24th February 2023

Track listing:

1. Kecak! (Sanghyang)
2. Rahajeng Semeng
3. Sekala Niskala
4. Gong Ageng
5. Ramayana Melukat

Available to order on Bandcamp

Mastered by Denis Blackham
Photography by Jon Wozencroft + Travelogue
Design: Jon Wozencroft

Recorded 6-16 February 2020 in Uluwatu, Ubud, Badung, Mount Batur and other locations in Bali, Indonesia.
Composed and mixed at the Castle in Stockholm, Sweden and at Dissimulata in Asheville, NC USA, 2022.

Travelogue [Bali] is the second in an ongoing series of collected international audio diaries (Travelogue [Nepal] was released by Touch in 2020). The premise is quite simple: the two meet at a mutually agreed upon destination along with the facilitation of something to record audio of these experiences on. The intent is to capture and augment these sonic documentaries of their travels which then are sculpted into soundtracks. This is done by sourcing the culture, environment, persons or events that make their voices available.

In February 2020, CM von Hausswolff and Chandra Shukla met in Bali, Indonesia, over the course of 9 days. Recordings were made at Pandawa Beach, Green Bowl Beach, Melasti Beach Ungasan, Uluwatu Temple, Pasar Senggol Gianyar, Pengosekan Kaja Ubud, Badung Market, Kintamani and Mt. Batur, Puri Saren Agung Ubud, Mandala Suci Wenara Wana (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary) Ubud, Pura Tirta Empul Tampaksiring, Pandan Beach and Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida.

Special thanks to Dewa Alit and Salukat Gamelan, Dewa Sakura, Elisa Faires, Ivan Seng, Shannon Batten, Kecak Uluwatu, Made Surya and Dewa Aji Mangku. Also thanks to Ulrich Hillebrand and Gregor Krause.

Reviews:

Igloo Magazine (USA):

This album of many bits of recordings, Travelogue [Bali], in many ways, seeks to honour the original artists and these fascinating spiritual communities, as well as create an interesting world house listen… read the full review here [Robin James]

Ambientblog (Netherlands):

Travelogue (Bali) is the second release in a series of ‘collected international audio diaries’ presented by Carl Michael Von Hauswolff and Chandra Shukla, the follow-up to 2020’s Travelogue (Nepal).
‘The premise is quite simple: the two meet at a mutually agreed upon destination along with the facilitation of something to record audio of these experiences on.’

This time, all sound sources are recorded in various locations in Bali: beaches, temples, markets, forests, mountains, etc. etc.
But beware: this is not exactly the kind of archival recording to preserve a specific cultural environment. The recordings are used as source material to create sonic sculptures rather detached from the original culture. In fact, they are actively morphed into quite an otherworldly trip.

The album kicks in rather relentlessly with a sonic modification of the Sanghyang – a traditional sacred Balinese dance, based on the premise that an unseen force enters the body of an entranced performer. You can almost literally feel that in the Kecak chanting, and even more so with the ghostly modifications of von Hauswolff and Shukla.

The following tracks are somewhat more ‘environmental ambient’, but the atmosphere remains mysterious and brooding. After three instrumental tracks, a mysterious vocal chant is reintroduced. It’s unclear what this chant is about (except for Bali residents, I assume). When the album finally concludes, it may leave you wondering what exactly you were listening to.

Bali’s nature feels like paradise, I know. But if I hadn’t seen that with my own eyes, I would hesitate to visit the island based on these soundscapes. And this is definitely meant as a compliment to these soundscapes by von Hauswolff and Shukla. [Peter Van Cooten]

Anxious (Poland):

Travelogue [Bali] jest drugim z serii zebranych międzynarodowych audiopamiętników (Travelogue [Nepal] został wydany przez Touch w 2020 roku). Założenie jest dość proste: obie strony spotykają się w miejscu, które zostało uzgodnione przez obydwie osoby, wraz z ułatwieniem w postaci czegoś, na czym można nagrać dźwięk z tych wydarzeń. Intencją jest uchwycenie i wzbogacenie tych dźwiękowych dokumentów z ich podróży, które następnie są kształtowane w ścieżkach dźwiękowych. Odbywa się to poprzez pozyskiwanie źródeł kultury, środowiska, osób lub wydarzeń, które udostępniają ich głosy.

W lutym 2020 roku CM von Hausswolff i Chandra Shukla spotkali się na Bali w Indonezji w ciągu 9 dni. Nagrania zostały wykonane w Pandawa Beach, Green Bowl Beach, Melasti Beach Ungasan, Uluwatu Temple, Pasar Senggol Gianyar, Pengosekan Kaja Ubud, Badung Market, Kintamani i Mt. Batur, Puri Saren Agung Ubud, Mandala Suci Wenara Wana (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary) Ubud, Pura Tirta Empul Tampaksiring, Pandan Beach i Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida. [Artur Mieczkowski]

Salt Peanuts (SE):

Travelogue [Bali] is the second in an ongoing series of collected international audio diaries of Swedish composer and conceptual audio-visual artist CM von Hausswolff (known by our younger readers as the father of Anna von Hausswolff) and American electronic musician Chandra Shukla, following Travelogue [Nepal] (Touch, 2020). The premise was and still is quite simple: von Hausswolff and Shukla would meet at a mutually agreed-upon destination with the necessary means to record these experiences. The aim is to capture and later augment and sculpt these sonic documentaries into soundtracks. This is done by sourcing the culture, environment, persons, or events that make their voices available.

The making of Travelogue [Bali] began in February 2020 when von Hausswolff and Shukla met in Bali, Indonesia, and over the course of nine days captured recordings of traditional and contemporary gamelan ensembles in 13 locations, assisted among others by Dewa Alit (check his recent album with Gamelan Salukat, Chasing the Phantom, Black Truffle, 2022) among others. In 2022, far away from Bali. von Hausswolff at the Castle in Stockholm and Shukla at Dissimulata in Asheville, North Carolina, composed and mixed the five pieces of Travelogue [Bali]. 

The album takes Bali’s refined and centuries-old, ritualist musical traditions and transforms them into psychedelic, fantastic soundscapes that investigate and play with our notions of sonic perception. There are only subtle echoes of gamelan music’s highly resonating and hypnotic pulses. But Travelogue [Bali]suggests a highly personal and imaginative perspective on an ancient and sacred tradition distilled through modern Western schools of minimalism, electronic and noise music. Von Hausswolff and Shukla came with a most immersive listening experience from this arresting journey. [Eyal Hareuveni]

Bandcamp:

Travelogue [Bali] is the second instalment in Carl Michael von Hausswolffand Chandra Shukla’s series of audio diaries, following their previous entry from Nepal. In February 2020, the duo met in Indonesia to record their trip through the temples, beaches, mountains, and parks of Bali. Over nine days, von Hausswolff and Shukla visited landmarks around the island including the Kelingking Beach, Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Palace), and Mandala Suci Wenara Wana (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary). They recorded a gamelan orchestra, a Melukat purification ritual at Pura Tirta Empul Tampaksiring, and a Kecak dance – a ceremony consisting of upwards of fifty men chanting in polyrhythm to reenact a tale from the Ramayana Saga – at Uluwatu Temple. But be warned: this is not a documentary representation, as Hausswolff and Shukla edit the pieces and add reverb and delay to unreal effect for a result that’s akin to the soundtrack to a fever dream. [Matthew Blackwell]

Bandcamp: Best Field Recordings of 2023

For the second installment of CM von Hausswolff and Chandra Shukla’s travelogue series, they met in Bali, Indonesia to record for nine days. During this time, they documented key features of Balinese culture, including a gamelan orchestra, a Melukat purification ritual, and a Kecak dance. They then blended, layered, and digitally manipulated their recordings, wrapping them in a dreamlike haze. The result better represents the memory of their travels than the events themselves, with the album’s soft tones and blurred edges inviting the listener to travel through a half-real, half-imagined Bali. You’ll want to take the trip again and again. [Matthew Blackwell]

TO:118 Travelogue – ‘Nepal’

CD – 3 tracks – 54:51

Release date: Friday 13th August 2021

Track listing:

1. PharLoKora 19:00
2. Anadu 10:43
3. Annapurna 10:33
4. Sagarmatha (Chomolungma) 14:35

Now available to pre-order on Bandcamp

Photography by CMvH
Design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham

Travelogue [Nepal] is the first in a series of collected international audio diaries. The premise is quite simple: the two galavant the globe with field–, EVP – and phone recorders and other devices where they record the essence of everything from the tiniest microcosms of nature on up to the polluted, diesel–fuelled roars of postmodern globalisation. What surfaced are soundtracks that act as sonic documentaries of their travels.

In September 2019, CM von Hausswolff and Chandra Shukla met in Kathmandu, Nepal, over the course of 7 days. Recordings were made at the Bagh Bhairav Temple and Chilancho Stupa (Kirtipur), Durbar Square, Boudhanath Stupa, Swayambhunath Stupa and Shri Pashupatinath Temple (Kathmandu) and at The World Peace Pagoda, The Shiva Cave, Devi Falls and Phewa Tal Lake (Pokhara).

Reviews:

Blow Up (Italy):

Travelogue is the first publication of a series of audio diaries in which musicians record and rework the sounds collected in some places that are on the fringes of the interests of globalised postmodern capitalism but significant for their history and tradition. The first of these sent the Swede von Hausswolff and the American Shukla to Nepal. These are basically reworked and rethought field recordings. The result is a work halfway between Genesis P-Orridge (with whom the Californian-New Yorker tablas scholar CS had to a connection) and Eliane Radigue. Hypnotic and monolithic, the pieces are more orientated to find the same atmosphere in the places they pass through than to highlight the different shades, for what appears more a metaphysical diary than a colourful devotional pilgrimage, despite the sonic triumph of the Tibetan bell. Trans.)