Temple of Whollyness, Burning Man 2013

SUMMARY: Chief of Non-Technical Production, Co-Fundraiser, Master of Ceremonies for the Gamelatron’s return to the heart of the Temple at Burning Man– this time with ROH AGENG, a gorgeous royal Javanese orchestra installed within the masterwork of artist Greg Fleishman.

As part of this year’s ceremonial purpose, we offered daily rounds of dedication to those who died, those who committed suicide, and those who grieve and celebrate the departed. As ritual mediator, I read daily the names of the dead and both ceremonial words and words requested by those who sent requests. This Gamelatron had a much deeper tone and less ecstatic presence as the belly of massive gongs seemed to tone more into the earth and our feet than into our hearts and the sky. A profound journey. Again, the Black Rock City Department of Works showed extraordinary skill in aiding the installation of the large gongs running various lifts.

from the Gamelatron website archive:

Roh Ageng in the Temple of Whollyness
Dates: August 2013
Location: Black Rock City, Nevada
Description: Roh Ageng, meaning Great Spirit in high Javanese is a set of central Javanese royal court gamelan instruments tuned in Slendro. It debuted in the Temple Of Whollyness deisgned by Gregg Fleishman under the artistic direction of Melissa Baron, produced by Lightning Clearwater with stone sculpture by James LaFemina. Roh Ageng performed a 160 hour memorial while mounted to the inner walls of the temple, ringing deep minimal tones as sonic incense.

from the community invitation and announcement about ROH AGENG:

Roh Ageng (huge or great spirit) is 15 master tones, 15 massive hanging bass and kettle gongs—up to 105 cm in diameter and 100 pounds, resonating as low as 41 megahertz. Forged by one of the last remaining master gongsmiths on Java in Indonesia, these gongs literally shape the surrounding air creating a powerful protective, grounding vibratory field. As great Temple ritual gongs, they invoke silence and presence, impacting our subtle bodies, the space inside and outside the Temple grounds.

Each tone of every gong is a memorial offering—a dedication to a loved one, a call to the naked here and now. Each ringing will ripple our intentions across the playa until they are woven with the time, the earth and sky.