Founded in 1996, Vital Records shares the riches of Balinese musical arts through recordings of a wide variety of gamelan ensembles and styles, from traditional to experimental. Every recording project involves extended planning with the musicians, careful selection of pieces and recording location, and high quality post-production.
The booklet notes for all Vital Records recordings (available with purchase of the physical CDs) are based on interviews with the musicians, field research, and secondary sources. They are an important part of the documentation of these outstanding ensembles.
Vital Records grew out of founder Wayne Vitale’s long immersion in Balinese music as a performer, composer, and researcher. The moment portable digital recorders became available in the early 1990s, he obtained one and left to Bali, spending three years documenting the island’s diverse gamelan orchestras, playing in various styles and genres. This was followed by other extended research stays, and informed by his ongoing work as a composer and performer with Gamelan Sekar Jaya, the Lightbulb Ensemble, and other artists. Vital Records is the product of a lifelong passion.