ethnomusicology

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 volume of fiffdimension’s best-of compilations (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

New releases coming in 2017

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Coming soon in 2017… new projects on the go, available to pre-order.

The Electricka Zoo


The debut album from the Hutt Valley guitar/bass and live electronica duo – full of eclectic electric sonic surprises.

and

Other Islands: 2012-2017


Our third overview compilation* of album tracks and previously unreleased recordings – made in Okinawa, Indonesia, Western Australia, Fiji, and New Zealand.

*see also Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005 and Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012

Pre-order now and you’ll be automatically sent the download link to the full albums once these are released, along with bonus material not available for streaming.

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Also coming in the near future, two new field-recording based albums made of sounds from Western Australia and Indonesia. We didn’t release an album in 2016, but that wasn’t for lack of ideas!

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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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.