Southeast Asia

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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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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Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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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.

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

Gamelan Taniwha Jaya 2015

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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.

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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 »

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.

Bali, Indonesia

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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).

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