Indonesia

Gamelan Padhang Moncar, 18th June

Posted on

All-Day Multicultural Event

Saturday 18th June 2016, 10am-5pm

St Patrick’s College Hall, Kilbirnie

Gamelan Padhang Moncar, 2016
Gamelan Padhang Moncar, 2016

A small gadon group from Gamelan Padhang Moncar will perform at this festival, which will feature a wide range of performances from many cultural groups (European and Māori, Pacific and Asian) as well food stalls and face-painting.  More information here.

This event is to raise funds for the seismic strengthening of their historic building which is currently a busy building site rather than a place of worship.

Gamelan Padhang Moncar – 11:30am (followed by Indonesian dancers)

Gamelan Padhang Moncar have in the past held some very special music events at the church of St Mary of the Angels, involving their wonderful choir (Vita Brevis and Darkness to Light).

Gamelan Padhang Moncar @ Pataka Gallery

Posted on Updated on

p

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 »

Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Posted on Updated on

Here’s video from my two visits to Indonesia in 2014 – a fascinating new country that I’m only just beginning to explore, and can continue to do so through gamelan (like Indonesia itself it gets more complex & interesting the more you look).

Partly because I’ve visited several countries in East Asia now, and lived in two (Japan and South Korea), Indonesia seems like something else entirely. It’s less Chinese-influenced and has a style of its own.

[Diary from September] This trip was just enough for an introductory sampler. I decided to focus on the arts this time rather than the mountains, ocean and jungle which would require more time, money and preparation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I had mixed results in my cultural studies mission this morning. Read the rest of this entry »

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya 2015

Posted on Updated on

Thanks to everyone who came to see Gamelan Taniwha Jaya play in Wellington recently!

Gopala

Tabuh Telu

In 2015 we’ve also performed at the Newtown Festival, the Southeast Asian Night Market, and Indonesia Day.

11949438_10153533387512380_2874393366942624543_n
Indonesian news article, 31/08/15, http://nasional.kompas.com

Here are a couple of recordings of two of the pieces we played:

https://soundcloud.com/user521325057/margapati-rehearsal-feb-2015/s-rQW6u

These are in the Balinese gong kebyar style of gamelan, which is loud, fast, intricate and modernist.  For more info see http://gamelan.org.nz/

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya is a group of New Zealand musicians dedicated to the study and performance of Balinese music. They specialise in contemporary music for Gamelan Gong Kebyar, and frequently incorporate western instruments into the ensemble.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bali, Indonesia

Posted on Updated on

There’s my first video from Bali, from footage taken on my earlier visit in August.  Note the gamelan (bronze percussion) and rindik (bamboo percussion) soundtrack.

I left my job in Perth and am on my way home to New Zealand, so I’m nervous about jobhunting & starting all over again (again).  On the way home I’m spending a week on a smaller island, Nusa Penida, doing conservation volunteer work with www.fnpf.org  If you’d like to help me afford to stay longer and make more of a contribution  ($20 = 1 day’s expenses) please  – or even better, buy some of our music.

Bali is (once you get away from the main city and the tacky resorts in the south) an almost absurdly beautiful place… frangipani and Indonesian flags (preparing for the August 17th independence day celebrations) everywhere, majestic hillsides lined with centuries-old rice terraces, and too many Hindu temples to count (each family has their own). That plus the many international flights, and entertainment options from adventure sports to nightclubbing to traditional arts make it easy to see why it’s such a popular destination (I read somewhere that 80% of visitors to Indonesia go to Bali and nowhere else, which makes me glad I saw Java first).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read the rest of this entry »

Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Posted on Updated on

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

P1000124
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,

P1000214

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).

P1000546

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 »