Alternesia was mentioned in a recent Stereophile review so I had to check it out. Jon Iverson plays his compositions on Indonesian Gamelan instruments. The album has a clarity that most recordings lack because it was recorded A-D with no intermediate mixing deck.
The music swells and fills the room with interesting and complex rhythms played on traditional Gamelan instruments like the a ugal (photo below), a large gong, the ceng ceng, smaller gongs and cymbals of various sizes; a small selection of wooden suling, or flutes; a set of bamboo angklung (tuned bamboo rattles); several large bamboo jegogan (bamboo xylophone); a wooden kendang drum; several small hand drums; and a bamboo genggong (similar to a Jew's harp), and more. The bass is deep and humungous.
From the website:
"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."
The album is available as a free download in .flac, aiff, and .wav formats at the Alternesia website:http://www.alternesia.com/