Bow Gamelan Ensemble ‘Dancing With The Ghosts’

Dancing With The Ghosts cassette cover
Dancing With The Ghosts side A
Dancing With The Ghosts side B

The Bow Gamelan Ensemble, 1983-1991, was the trio of percussionist Paul Burwell (1949-2007), sculptor Richard Wilson, born 1953, and performance artist Anne Bean, born 1950. Burwell founded the London Musicians’ Collective around 1975, which later became an artist ran venue located on London’s Gloucester Street, where the Ensemble had their first show in 1983. Bean and Burwell first issued a single in 1979 titled ‘Low Flying Aircraft’. The Ensemble, taking its name from East London’s Bow district where they originated from, is famous for outdoor performances drumming on scrap metals and junk materials collected in the venue’s neighborhood. Their equipment also included electric motors, glass, arc welders, gas burners and pyrophones. They collaborated with professional pyrotechnicians to activate fireworks with which they ended many a performance (as is the case here). Although various sources, including Anne Beam, dates the end of the Ensemble in 1990, this live recording is from a performance in Italy in 1991. Tracks vary from vaguely Gamelan-like, light metallophone meanderings to harsh sonic assaults on percussion and noise. Audience laughs and delights to the visual side of the show. Nice Bow Gamelan Ensemble photo gallery here.

Live The British School, Rome, Italy
June 19, 1991

01 Part 1 (8:42)
02 Part 2 (3:44)
03 Part 3 (4:36)
04 Part 4 (4:27)
05 Part 5 (9:00)
06 Part 6 (5:49)
07 Part 7 (16:45)
08 Part 8 (1:34)

Total time 54:30
Cassette released by RR Tapes, Italy, 1991


d/l file comes with 6-pages interview from Interchange zine #4, 1986:

1984 Bow Gamelan Ensemble, cassette, Audio Arts >
1988 Great Noises That Fill The Air, LP, Klinker Zoundz >
1991 Dancing With The Ghosts, cassette, RR Tapes, Italy

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1 Response to “Bow Gamelan Ensemble ‘Dancing With The Ghosts’”

  1. 1 jan August 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    In this month’s edition of The Wire a 6p. article on Paul Burwell.

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