Nyoman Wenten is a celebrated Indonesian composer whose rhythmic style of Balinese music and dance, known as gamelan, is fading in popularity in his home country. Judith Hill is a Grammy Award®-winning R&B vocalist looking for a distinctive sound for a new piece of music she’s composing. The two agree to meet, and ultimately collaborate by blending the sounds of classic funk with the traditional sounds of gamelan to thrust the sacred musical tradition into the digital age. Their partnership is the focus of the new documentary, Bali: Beats of Paradise, which arrives in select theaters beginning November 16. The film, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Livi Zheng, encapsulates the brilliant scenery of the island as well as the authenticity of Balinese culture and gamelan music.
Traditional gamelan music, which typically includes multiple brass percussive instruments, has been featured in the film Avatar by James Cameron, the TV show Star Trek as well as the Nintendo game Super Mario Bros. Judith and Livi can discuss Bali: Beats of Paradise and the collaboration with Nyoman Wenten which resulted in the epic music video for “Queen of the Hill”.Judith Hill has been praised by Rolling Stone for her “stellar powerhouse vocals.” She has backed artists such as Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson, and her story is told in the Oscar®-winning film 20 Feet From Stardom, which shines the spotlight on the backup singers behind the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Judith, who was a contestant on season four of “The Voice,” garnered praise for her performances opening up for Josh Groban, John Legend and Prince. Her sophomore album, “Golden Child” is being released on Nov. 13.
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