Thursday 3 October 2019

Adam Concert Room, NZ School of Music

Students of this year’s PERF250 undergraduate class in Javanese gamelan presented their final recital, directed by Budi S. Putra, with guest appearances from Gamelan Padhang Moncar and Gamelan Taniwha Jaya.


Ladrang Sumarah pelog nyamat (PERF250)

This traditional piece is in ladrang form which is usually performed at a slow tempo, and is often used to welcome guests or to begin a concert.

Lancaran Pambuka slendro manyuro (PERF250)

Lancaran Lumaris slendro manyuro (PERF250)

These traditional gamelan pieces are often used to accompany shadow puppets. Lancaran is a formal structure of at least two gong cycles, each divided into 4 bars of four notes each. It is one of the shorter Javanese structures and is usually played lancar (at a fast tempo).

PERF250 Performers: Jac Boothe, Lorenz Romuel Arabelo, Kenny Childs, Morgan Smith, Imogen Moore, Ellen Travis, Ferg Fry, Kylie White, Samuel McMillan, Julian Mittmann, Emma Bernard, Maxwell Stone, Soyam Dean, Phoebe Caldeiro, Mia Kelly, Arturo Lopez, Kauru Sawada

Hujan Mas (Gamelan Taniwha Jaya)

This Balinese piece in the gong kebyar style is of unclear origin but most likely originated in the early to mid 20th century in Kedis Kaja, North Bali, before spreading to a group in Ubud popular for its tourist performances, Gunung Sari. It is now a favourite among Balinese gamelan groups outside Bali.

GTJ Performers: Gareth Farr, Rupert Snook, Mike Jones, Svenda Strom, Jo Hilder, Sophie James, Bo Yang, Josh Hyslop, Peter Ingram, Ijaan Yudana, Anita Tan, Clare Tattersall, Jean Arnold, Amber Madriaga, Budi Putra

Ladrang Asmaradana pelog barang and Ladrang Pangkur slendro manyura/pelog barang (Gamelan Padhang Moncar)

These two traditional ladrang are presented tonight in a way that showcases two aspects of Javanese music: shifts between two of the slower irama (speeds) which feature the elaborating instruments playing rapid patterns, and the technique of wolak-walik (changing from one tuning system to the other in the middle of performance). These features fascinated Jack Body, who described the shifts into slower irama as “a beautiful kind of paradox” in which the core melody slows down, while the internal ornamentation speeds up; he described the wolak-walik technique as a sudden move from one world to the other, “a cosmic shift”.

Nusantara Indah/Asmaramurka pelog nem and barang (arr. Budi Putra) (Gamelan Padhang Moncar)

This is an arrangement of parts of two contemporary works for Javanese gamelan: “Nusantara Indah” (beautiful islands) by Dedek Wahyudi (a prominent gamelan composer) and “Asmaramurka” by Nanang Karbito (a young gamelan composer and lecturer at Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta). These are through composed works, in contrast to traditional Javanese repertoire, but feature familiar Javanese forms from the wayang (shadow puppet) repertoire such as perang, srepeg, and sampak.

GPM Performers: Budi S Putra, Megan Collins, Jo Hilder, Greg Street, Bo Yang, Mike Jones, Alisa Hogan, Marie Direen, Judith Exley, Stephanie Cairns, Hazel Barrett, Paul Nuttall, Rupert Snook, Morgan Smith

Tembang Sinom Gedong Kuning pelog nem (arr. Budi Putra)

This vocal piece is a form of Javanese poetry which is traditionally recited in song form. Sinom is a poem in the tembang macapat form, one of three traditional Javanese poetic forms: tembang agengtembang madya, and tembang macapat, all of which follow strict rules of poetic construction (similar to that found in English forms such as the sonnet) and are highly influential in Javanese gamelan.

Gedong Kuning is sung by PERF250 students, accompanied by members of Gamelan Padhang Moncar and Gamelan Taniwha Jaya in a rare combination of Javanese and Balinese gamelan.