The Kennedy Center

Electric Junkyard Gamelan



Biography

Led by the multi-faceted, multi-instrumentalist and composer Terry Dame, Electric Junkyard Gamelan plays original groove-driven music on musical instruments of Dame’s invention. This quartet creates an odyssey of space-age jams from homemade instruments crafted out of, well, junk.

Originally inspired by the infectious interlocking rhythms of traditional Gamelan from Bali, ELG is a modern day dumpster diver’s spin on the traditional Indonesian orchestra comprised of metal xylophones and gongs. The group is a true world fusion project with influences from Southeast Asia, the Middle East, West Africa, American funk, hip hop and a little circus on top. They perform on Dame's unique musical contraptions such as the Rubarp and Big Barp (electric rubber band harps), the Sitello (an electric cello/sitar combo), the Terraphone (copper pipe horn), the Clayrimba (a three octave tuned clay pot "marimba") and an arsenal of percussion instruments fashioned from old farm equipment, kitchen ware, turntable platters, saw blades, and truck springs. The result is an undeniably original sound with hypnotic melodies and syncopated strings riding over funky bass lines and layers of danceable interlocking rhythms. The audiovisual sensation that is Electric Junkyard Gamelan emerges directly from invention - the instruments resurrect the spirits of a land that is, for them, far, far away.

Featuring musicians Terry Dame, Mary Feaster, Lee Free & Julian Hintz, EJG has been performing together since 2000 at venues ranging from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City to elementary schools in Iowa, arts centers large and small to music festivals, underground raves and even a couple weddings.
Electric Junkyard Gamelan