Ethnomusicologist Palmer Keen links us into Indonesia’s hyper-diverse island chain for a blast of raw sonic illumination.
After getting hooked on gamelan sounds just after high school, Palmer Keen felt the urge to seek the source, so his curious mind brought his adventurous body to Indonesia, where Aural Archipelago was born. For the past several years, Keen, a DIY ethnomusicologist, has immersed himself in self-propelled cultural archiving in order to magnify the multiplicity of musical forms unique to Indonesia’s expansive island chain. He makes this material freely available via sound and vision dispatches on his resource rich website. On this episode of Open End, Keen beams in from Yogyakarta to share a collage of original Indonesian field recordings made on location in what he considers to be the most musically diverse country on the planet. Frosty bookends the show with visits to Brazil, Japan, India, England, Ukraine, Tanzania, Israel, Jordan and beyond.