Terry Dame & Electric Junkyard Gamelan play original groove driven music on Dame's own invented instruments. Hypnotizing melodies, funky bass lines and layers of danceable interlocking rhythms ride over brilliant harmonic washes. This highly original band has a distinct voice that is at once both old and new. "transporting...beautiful and inspired sounds" says NYC’s Village Voice.
Electric Junkyard Gamelan is a true world fusion project. With inspirations drawn from the interlocking rhythms of traditional Gamelan music of Bali, modal traditions of India and the Middle East fused with American funk, jazz and hip-hop they produce hypnotic melodies and syncopated strings that ride over funky bass lines and layers of dance-able interlocking rhythms. They perform on innovative musical contraptions such as the Rubarp and Big Barp (electric rubber band harps), the Kachapitar (an electric zither/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, turntable platters, saw blades, and truck springs. The result is a super original sound that is new yet familiar. Audiences are transfixed by the beauty and strangeness of the unusual collection of instruments on stage and the amazing array of sounds they produce.
The five musicians in EJG hail from diverse musical backgrounds. Leader & composer Terry Dame, a saxophonist by training has studied music from around the world including Indonesia, the Middle East, the Balkans and India. She has been living and working in New York City since 1985, composing and performing for film, video, theater, dance, and concerts. She was the music director, composer and saxophonist with the seven piece global beat jazz group Monkey on a Rail from 1998-2002 and a founding member of the improvisation trio Trophy Wife . She was composer in residence and saxophonist with Jennifer Miller's New York based Circus Amok from 1994-2004 . Ms. Dame is also a member of Gamelan Dharma Swara, the traditional Balinese Gamelan based at the Indonesian Consulate in New York City and Paprika, Brooklyn’s acclaimed all-female international dance music band. She was an artist in residence at HERE Art Center in New York City during 2003 & 2004 and has received commissioning funds from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, The Rockefeller Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts and the Meet the Composer Fund. Dame was recently selected to be a 2006 Sundance Institute Composer Lab Fellow.
Dame met Julian Hintz aka Julz A, a singer, hip-hop accordionist and classically trained percussionist while in grad school at Cal Arts. Mary Feaster, Lee Frisari and Dame met while playing together in the Circus Amok Band. Feaster, also a member of the trio Trophy Wife is a bassist that plays everything from punk to funk, Latin to klezmer. Frisari is a classically trained percussionist and punk rock drummer. Master hand drummer Robin Burdulis who has played Cuban and African drums for over twenty years rounds out the group.
EJG has been performing together since 1998. They released their self-titled debut cd in 2002 and their newest record in "LIfe On Marz" in 2009. This highly adaptable group has performed at every type of venue possible from prestigious museums and art centers such as the MoMA and Kitchen in New York City, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis to rock clubs such as The Knitting Factory and CBGB’s to underground music parties and outdoor festivals such as the Chicago World Music Festival to elementary schools in Iowa.
Here is what the critic’s say about the group
"Electric Junkyard Gamelan makes music so original
they had to invent their own instruments to play it.
It's wild enough to please fans...regardless of genre."
--Global Rhythms Magazine
“transporting...beautiful and inspired sounds”
- --Village Voice
“...rhythmic, near-hypnotic music.”
“Terry Dame is one of those eccentric musicians for whom composing isn’t enough, she has to create new instruments as well. A downtown fixture.”
--Time Out New York
“...powerful, mesmerizing and ever changing.”
Founder/Director of Dixon Place, NYC