Asia

Wayang for Cirebon – 30 June 2018

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Saturday 30 June 2018
in the Adam Concert Room (NZSM, Victoria University of Wellington).
$30/adult – all proceeds go to Cirebon

This show is a repeat of our recent successful show at CubaDupa.

This fund-raising event was sparked by a tragedy in Cirebon, Indonesia, in April this year when a wall adjacent to the rehearsal space collapsed on top of the players, killing seven youngsters, aged between 12 –15 years, and their teacher, dhalang Mas Herman Basari.

The Cirebon area of Northwest Java is dear to our hearts. Allan Thomas brought the first gamelan to New Zealand from Cirebon in 1974. You can read about the history and about these instruments on the Gamelan NZ site by following the links. Later named The First Smile, the ensemble is still played by a local Wellington group who are embarking on a fund-raising campaign to send support to Gegesik village and families affected by the tragedy. Plans are already underway there to purchase a new gamelan, and dedicate it to the memory of those who died.

You are invited to attend what promises to be a spirited occasion, and to contribute generously to the funds. The programme for this concert will include:

  • A wayang kulit (shadow puppet show), The Fall of Gathutkaca, performed by dhalang Ki Joko Susilo, accompanied by Gamelan Padhang Moncar of the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Joko Susilo is a celebrated dhalang, Indonesian traditional shadow puppet-master, the eighth generation in his family. He has lived with his New Zealand family and taught gamelan in Dunedin for over 25 years, but is often in demand for wayang kulit performances and gamelan teaching abroad.
  • Ambassador Bapak Tantowi Yahya will also perform as part of the event.
  • Refreshments

Tickets are $30 per adult. School aged children are free. All funds will be directly sent to Cirebon.

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Other Islands: 2012-2018

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Coming in 2018

The third fiffdimension compilation (see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012) brings us into the current decade – with further wide-ranging experimentation and exploration both sonically and geographically, in New Zealand, Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

Now available to pre-order (some tracks available immediately and you’ll be automatically sent the rest once everything’s finalised).

Featuring tracks from the albums

The Winter: Flying Visit (2012)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes (2010-2015)

Ngumbang (2014-2015)

The Winter: Exit Points (2010/2015)

The Electricka Zoo (2017)

and previously unheard tracks

by Dave Black (acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, harmonica, laptop, bass, tenor saxophone, field recordings, piano, ukulele, sanshin, saron, jublag, demung, vocal), with

Mike Kingston (charango, acoustic guitar), Simon Sweetman (percussion), Nat da Hatt (electric guitar, keyboards), Cylvi M (vocal, field recordings, percussion, shakuhachi), Emit Snake-Beings (vocal, percussion, flute, electronics), Blair Latham (bass clarinet), Simon O’Rorke (synthesiser), Chris Prosser (violin), Julie Bevan (acoustic guitar), the Digitator (electric drums, keyboards & loops),

plus Indonesian gamelan ensembles led by Sofari Hidayat, Budi Putra, and Gareth Farr,

and field recordings from Western AustraliaIndonesia, Okinawa (Japan), and Fiji.

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If you enjoy this, try the previous volumes Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

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 »

安里屋ユンタオーバードライブ Asadoya Yunta Overdrive (Okinawa)

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Here’s a new bonus track we’ve added to the album ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes – our version of a traditional shima uta (island song) from 沖縄 (Okinawa).

Dave Black – sanshin, harmonica, field recordings
Nat da Hatt – acoustic & electric guitars, electronics
Cylvi Manthyng – shakuhachi

As you can hear, the music of Okinawa is quite distinct from that of mainland Japan.

Free mp3s 2014 – 2015

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New free downloads 2014-2015 !  Pay koha / what you want for

Ngumbang

the first collaborative album by New Zealand artist/musician/filmmaker/ethnomusicologists Dave Black & Snake Beings – performed on guitars, bass, banjo, percussion, saxophones, clarinets, harmonicas, synthesisers, Indonesian gamelan, Okinawan sanshin, ukulele, violin, loop pedal, piano, drums and spoken word.

and

ネオン列車の風景 Neon Train Landscapes

(2014) Japanese psychedelic rock by Dave Black & Nat da Hatt – two New Zealanders living in Japan.

plus

The fifth album from New Zealand free improvisation trio of Mike Kingston, Simon Sweetman and Dave Edwards

and

Free-jazz & improv from Wellington, New Zealand 1999/2014 – in collaboration with simon.ororke.net

and a video clip of

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya

rejection-dryrot-ripple-gombageand Dave and Cylvi contributed to Postmoderncore‘s first volume of Dada Songwriting Compilation, Rejection dryrot ripple Gombage.

 

Enjoy!

We’ll take a break from more releases for the remainder of this year while some new ideas percolate – thanks for listening, see you at the New Zealand Fringe Festival in 2016!

Little India, Singapore

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A major highlight of 2014 for me was visiting some new parts of Southeast Asia. I enjoyed the Tamil Indian culture in Singapore and Malaysia, which has sated my curiosity for India itself for the moment.

The sensory overload of the Hindu temples was an intriguing contrast from the elegant minimalism of the Japanese approach, and the mix of Indian, Chinese and Malay cultures is like having three different Asian countries in one.

Nusa Penida, Indonesia

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Nusa Penida is a smaller island between Bali and Lombok, about an hour by boat from Sanur in Bali.

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View from Nusa Penida towards Bali and Mt Agung

I spent a week as a volunteer with Friends of the National Parks Foundation. I helped with feeding the Bali starlings (critically endangered due to poachers – the population was down to 10 at one point but is now over 100 thanks to the translocation project), along with plant nursery maintenance, a beach cleanup of plastic waste, and construction of the new FNPF premises (thatched huts on a terraced hillside, and gardens that will be beautiful once established).

An endangered Bali Starling, Nusa Penisa, Indonesia
An endangered Bali Starling, Nusa Penisa, Indonesia

Nusa Penida is much less developed than Bali, and resembles Bali as it might have been 40 years ago before the tourism boom. Accomodation is simple, with basic facilities (eg cold showers – actually very pleasant in the tropical climate – bucket-flush toilets, and limited food variety).

For tourists it offers great snorkelling & diving,

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and enough Hindu temples & local colour to make it interesting culturally. It’s nice to not be hassled to buy things as much as in Bali. Mostly people just say ‘hello’ (in some cases it’s the only English word they know).

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I also need to mention The Gallery, run by an English expat Mike Appleton – it’s THE place to go for local information, language interpretation, western food, and to support local artists.

The main amenity I missed was reliable internet connections – there was no access at all for five of the nine days I was there, and when it was available it was patchy & unreliable even at the one internet cafe in town.  Lesson from this for me was to finish all travel bookings before  going somewhere remote like this.  Even back here in Bali the connection is too slow for me to upload any sounds or other photos, so I’ll add more later.

I also had a motorbike accident, though not the kind you’d expect. Read the rest of this entry »