Travel

The Bolton and the Harris rose, Wellington NZ

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I was born in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.  My earliest NZ ancestors are my great great great grandparents Abraham and Sophia Harris, from Essex, England.  They arrived in Wellington in 1840 aboard the sailing ship Bolton.

Abraham Harris 1810-1874

Sophia Harris 1810-1888

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Gamelan Padhang Moncar at the SE Asian Night Market 2017

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Sunday 2 April 2017

Gamelan Padhang Moncar braved wind and rain to perform twice at the night market on the Wellington Waterfront, near Te Papa.

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Viti Levu, Fiji

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My first visit to a Pacific island country, apart from my own (though the term is ambiguous – I’m not counting Australia, Indonesia or Japan).  I’d always wanted to visit Fiji, due to family connections… I may have even been conceived there.  A week’s visit to Viti Levu, the largest and most populated island, in September was all too short but still a great introductory taster.

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First stop was Nadi, Read the rest of this entry »

Indonesia Festival at Te Papa

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Two audience videos at the Indonesia Festival at Te Papa national museum in Wellington, NZ:

Gamelan music, in styles from Bali by Gamelan Taniwha Jaya

and central Java by Gamelan Padhang Moncar.

 

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Te Marae, Level 4
Sunday 23 October 2016, 10am-5pm

This was a full day of music, dance, song, and batik fashion from Indonesia.

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East to West in Southland

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East to West will be screening this Saturday in Invercargill, as part of the Southland Arts Festival.  I’ll be there in person to add some live musical accompaniment.

See www.creativesouthland.co.nz

 

East to West takes the audience on a journey half way around the world from New Zealand, across Australia, via a dozen countries including Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Russia, Albania, Portugal and more.

This will be my first performance in Southland, and my first South Island project in nearly a decade – see also South Island Sessions 

Gamelan Padhang Moncar @ Pataka Gallery

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5 Feb – 13 March 2016

ShadowPlay – an exhibition of wayang kulit shadow puppets from Cirebon (West Java) at Pataka Museum in Porirua.  The antique collection of puppets was purchased by the late Allan Thomas (who also commissioned me to contribute to the book Jazz Aotearoa) in 1974 together with a set of gamelan instruments. Jennifer Shennan and Joko Susilo have worked to curate a unique exhibition showcasing these treasures.

Associated events:

Saturday 6 February, 11:30am, Performing Arts Studio, Pataka Art + Museum

Wayang kulit performance by Joko Susilo accompanied by The First Smile gamelan.

Sunday 7 February, 1:45pm

Concert by Gamelan Padhang Moncar.

Gamelan Padhang Moncar is a group of New Zealand musicians dedicated to the study and performance of Javanese music and based at the New Zealand School of Music (Victoria University campus) in Wellington. They are directed by Budi S. Putra, and managed by Megan Collins.

The group performs traditional repertoire from the courts and villages of central Java as well as contemporary works by New Zealand composers such as Jack Body and Gareth Farr. They also frequently accompany wayang kulit (traditional shadow puppetry) with Joko Susilo.

Members come from a diverse range of backgrounds and include: Judith Exley, Marie Direen, Jo Hilder, Greg Street, Pippa Strom, Mike Jones, Briar Prastiti, Jason Erskine, Helen O’Rourke, Stephanie Cairns, Carina Esguerra, Rupert Snook, Tristan Carter, Jack Hooker, Megan Collins, Anton Killin, Alisa Hogan, Bronwyn Poultney.

I’ll be joining the group in 2016, after performing with the Balinese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Taniwha Jaya in 2010 and 2015 and playing Javanese gamelan in Perth and travelling to Java in 2014.

Panoramic With Singers
Gamelan Padhang Moncar

The Javanese name can be interpreted in several ways. Read the rest of this entry »