Click on the photos at right for larger images.

Track Listing:

1. Premonition 3:57
2. Alternesia 6:41
3. Metalanguage 5:56
4. The Culm Dialect 4:03
5. Beside a Liquid Land 4:12
6. East Rim, Facing West 7:17
7. Gambuh Ikat 7:38
8. Speaking in Ugal 6:41

Total Time: 46:28

Created, Recorded and Produced by Jon Iverson at the remote Dog Bark Recording Camp in California. Everything you hear are actual instruments recorded directly one at a time (no mixing board) to a specially modified MCI JH100 2" 16 track analog recorder. With the exception of a wee bit of sampled bass in just a couple of tiny spots, there were no sequencers, synthesizers or fancy computer editors used—all was multitracked in person with microphones.

Mastering accomplished by Robert Rich at Soundscape. Robert Rich also played the Bamboo Flute on track 7. All other instruments coaxed to life and banged on by Jon Iverson. Cover design and art by James (I need some sleep) Wigger with photos by Jonathan Kolstad and James Wigger. Special thanks to Corrina Jones, everyone at Stereophile, My Folks, Robert Rich, Brent Wilcox, Todd Garfinkle, James Wigger, Jonathan Kolstad, and Herb Masters whose credit card was creatively used to purchase many of the instruments heard on this disc while in a tight spot somewhere in Alternesia…

Instruments Played:

Technical Note
Two mike preamps were used, one a cheap but effective unit from Symmetrix, the other custom-designed and built by Greg Scott, who also designs for VTL, among others. The mikes were two hand-matched AKG 414s—nothing too fancy—taken direct into the MCI Tape Machine (after the preamps) via Monster Cable's Prolink Series 1 cables.—Jon Iverson

Additional Notes: Another Great World
This disc is rooted deeply in Jon Iverson's love of Balinese gamelan, but it's not a gamelan record. How could it be? It uses traditional gamelan instruments, and Jon has studied the music and its performance techniques—he obviously respects them—but Jon's music cannot ever truly be Balinese, no matter how long and arduously he studies. By accident of birth, he'll always remain an outsider.

However, outsiders can hear things in new ways—and that is what Jon has done here. Using the interlocking rhythms and polyphonic stratification of gamelan music, he has produced a portal into a new sonic world. The disc opens with a subtly swelling wash of gong overtones, as fat as pillows, before embarking on a pulsing, relentless march through different percussive landscapes—think of Steve Reich's Drumming without the phased decay element and you'll be in the very general neighborhood, although Jon hearkens as much to Brian Eno's sonic explorations as to the rules of either third world or classical music.

Just as it melds cultural references, Alternesia takes what it needs from different instrumental traditions. In addition to the traditional drums and idiophones of the gamelan, Jon has added sampled bass "in just a couple of tiny spots," some evocative flute (played by Robert Rich, who mastered this recording), and a smattering of non-traditional instruments.

Think of Alternesia as a 46-minute vacation to an alternative world. The normal rules don't apply (do they ever on a vacation?). I like traveling to Alternesia. I return there often—and I look forward to taking many more trips with Jon in the future.—Wes Phillips


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