Happy Indonesian Independence Day, 17th August!
All-Day Multicultural Event
Saturday 18th June 2016, 10am-5pm
St Patrick’s College Hall, Kilbirnie
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)
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.
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.
The Javanese name can be interpreted in several ways. Read the rest of this entry »
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.
I had mixed results in my cultural studies mission this morning. Read the rest of this entry »
Thanks to everyone who came to see Gamelan Taniwha Jaya play in Wellington recently!
Here are a couple of recordings of two of the pieces we played:
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 »
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.
Nusa Penida is a smaller island between Bali and Lombok, about an hour by boat from Sanur in Bali.
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).
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,
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).
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 »