Artist Portrait: Lewis Pragasm

“Lewis is a percussionist. He makes sounds by hitting objects – some are conventional instruments and some are not. His rhythm is a part of how he approaches the world – playful and experimental.”

Lewis came to Bali after Kirsty Ludbrook heard him playing in Malaysia. He flew in for the weekend, played a few gigs, and wanted to shoot some traditional Balinese instruments as part of a DVD he is producing on Asian percussion instruments.

We met at Cafe Bali to map out our shoot, and after talking about the gamelan, Lewis mentioned how it had always been his dream to play the jegog – a similar instrument to the gamelan, but made of bamboo and played by a troop of up to 25 men. The sound is deeper, fuller and louder.

The jegog originates from Negara, far away from Seminyak, but I had a feeling we might find one closer. My local friend Made Gun knew of not only a gamelan factory, but a jegog we could play and see a performance in Ubud.

Lewis got to play the gamelan and jegog while I got to shoot and learn more about Bali and the culture that keeps astounding me the more I see.

Lewis Pragasm from Nikko Karki on Vimeo.

Here are some stills from unedited video:

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