The Jakarta Post
The UK was chosen as the venue since the country’s interest in the gamelan was not limited to research in music, but it is also used as a part of healing therapy for patients and prisoners. (Shutterstock/-)
As part of an effort to promote Indonesian cultural heritage, the Education and Culture Ministry is hosting the 2017 International Gamelan Festival (IGF) in two cities in the United Kingdom, namely London and Glasgow, from Sept. 5 to 15.
The festival kicked off with a series of workshops held at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London, on Sept. 8.
Among the activities was a bonang workshop with Supardi; rebab, kendang, gender and suling workshops with Suraji, Bagus Danang, Sri Eko Widodo and AL Suwardi; and more.
These workshops were attended by local British people with a strong interest in the traditional Javanese musical instrument.
Sophie Ransby, gamelan enthusiast from the South Bank Center community, was among the participants in a workshop. She said the workshop helped hone her skills in playing the gamelan as she received guidance from gamelan masters.
In addition to gamelan workshops, the IGF also hosted seminars that covered various topics, including “New Uses of an Old Gong: Contemporary Gamelan”, “Representing Indonesian Islam Today” and “Story Across Media: Film, Video and Performance in Indonesia”, which featured experts as the speakers, such as film director Garin Nugroho, UK-based composer Alec Roth and anthropologist Felicia Hughes-Freeland.
The ministry’s head of foreign cultural diplomacy Ahmad Mahendral said in a press release that the gamelan was first documented among the British by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in his book The History of Java published in 1817.
Ahmad added that the UK was chosen as the venue since the country’s interest in the gamelan was not limited to research in music, but it is also used as a part of healing therapy for patients and prisoners.
As part of the IGF, Nugroho’s Setan Jawa (Javanese Satan), a silent movie accompanied by a live gamelan orchestra, was screened in the Cadogan Hall on Sunday night. (jes/kes)