Finally, in today's Global Hit we hear the sounds of the kulintang. That's an instrument consisting of eight small GONGS -- laid out horizontally, like a xylophone. The kulintang is common in Indonesia and the Philippines.
IBARRA: "It's an indigenous instrument, so it's often confused with Muslim music. But it's actually indigenous Filipino music. They don't play it in the temples, they don't play it in the mosques, they play it for the people in the communities and their families."
That's Susie Ibarra. She plays the kulintang, but NOT in the traditional way we just heard. She plays the the instrument THIS way. Susie Ibarra is one half of the duo Electric Kulintang. She's Filipino-American. Her husband Roberto Rodriguez is Cuban-American. He uses a laptop to add the electronic element to Electric Kulintang.
Rodriguez says kulintang music is popular in the mostly-Muslim southern Philippines. So the music doesn't get much respect in the northern part of the country -- which is predominantly Catholic.
RODRIGUEZ: "It hits me when the South, it's very poor, the music there is not supported by the North, by the government of the Philippines. And I feel strongly that they should support the music, like Indonesia supports their culture, they should do the same because it's going to be lost."
To avoid that Rodriguez and Ibarra are introducing the instrument to new audiences through Electric Kulintang.
RODRIGUEZ: "We compose, experiment, and create a new world of music. Just modernize the sound and bring it out of the Philippines. Expose it to the west."
IBARRA: "Also we have an affinity for creating what I'd call contemporary folk. I mean it is a product, an expression of today."
RODRIGUEZ: "Unfortunately, the music isn't being passed on to the children because they want a different life. It's so poor there, the Kulintang culture, they're leaving it. They're losing that beautiful language and we just try to give them another example of maybe what they could do with their tradition and not abandon it completely."
In the meantime, Electric Kulintang is making sure this music from the southern Philippines isn't forgotten. The duo has performed around the world -- including here in the United States.
Their CD is called Dialects.