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.