Maksum Nur Fauzan
A gamelan ensemble makes a beautiful and harmonious sound. However, people usually only appreciate the instrumentalists. We know very little about gamelan makers who can still be found in Wirun village, Mojolaban district, Sukoharjo regency, Central Java.
It was 7:30 a.m. and the gamelan makers came in one by one. It was hot and stuffy inside and there was only an old fan to keep them cool. Those gamelan makers worked from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an hour lunch break. Before they started working, they chatted and joked around
Then they mixed and heated lead and copper before putting it into molds of gamelan instruments such as gong, kenong, kempul and bonang.
The gamelan instruments they have produced are already sold throughout Indonesia, such as in Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Jakarta and Bali. They have even reached overseas markets. A gamelan ensemble is usually sold for Rp 600 million (US$41,380).
The gamelan makers have plied their trade for decades and they hope their creations can be enjoyed by the younger generation in Indonesia and in the end will help preserve the culture. [yan]