Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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Closing 2016

November 18, 2016

Grateful for a busy year full of exciting collaboratons with both old and new friends! Here’s some highlights from Lintas Nusantara, the Launch of the Contemporary Wayang Archive, and Vinayaka!

Lintas Nusantara (Photo Credits: Haiqal Tahir)

Snapshots of Arjuna Wiwaha, a Yogyakarta style Dance Drama

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Launch of Contemporary Wayang Archive

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Vinayaka

Our first time performing alongside Indian muscians and Dancers!

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A big thank you to all musicans, dancers, collaborators, movers and logistics guys, stage and sound crews and our supportive audiences who’ve accompanied us throughout our most hectic performance season ever!

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Upcoming Shows in October!

September 28, 2016
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be involved in three exciting productions in collaboration with artistes from Indonesia:

Lintas Publicity 2016.jpg

Lintas Nusantara 
September 30, Friday and October 1, Saturday (8.30 pm on both days)
Malay Heritage Centre
Free, but requires registration at: http://malayheritagecentre.peatix.com/

This performance features dances from different parts of Indonesia, Tari Saman from Aceh, Gending Sri Vijaya from Sumatra, and Arjuna Wiwaha, performed by dancers and musicians from ISI Jogjakarta, in collaboration with Singa Nglaras.

Launch of Contemporary Wayang Archive
7 October at 15:00–17:30
NUS Theatrette LT13
Free admission

WayangHip Hop from Yogyakarta and Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble from NUS will collaborate in a joint performance. The event will also feature talks by NUS professors to launch the Contemporary Wayang Archive – CWA (cwa-web.org). Participants include Jan Mrázek, Sarah Weiss, Farah Wardani, Marianna Lis, Miguel Escobar Varela and Catur Benyek Kuncoro.
For more information, see: https://www.facebook.com/events/1774183482853697/

And also…

vinayaka-publicity

Vinayaka
October 16, Sunday, 7.30pm
SOTA Drama Theatre
Tickets at $25 and $30 (Available at: http://www.bhaskarsartsacademy.com/2016/05/vinayaka/ )

This is a collaboration between Bhaskar Arts Academy and Jakarta based Sasana Budaya Art Troupe, and features Indian and Javanese dance and music (that’s us!).

See you there!
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Ramayana 2016

August 29, 2016

This year, we were fortunate to share the stage with really awesome musicans from Solo, to support a production of the Ramayana incorporating Javanese dance and contemporary shadow puppetry. This was staged as the closing of the Malay Heritage Centre’s Javanese Exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Javanese Association. Big shout out to our collaborators Gamelan Asmaradana and Gamelan Naga Kencana, as well as the tech, staging, and logistical crews that made the production possible.

The video, by Haiqal Tahir and Matin Haiqal is on youtube:

And here are some behind the scenes rehearsal shots, also taken by Haiqal:

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Beginners Workshop in Javanese Gamelan

January 24, 2016

Once again, we’re happy to organise a 4 session beginner’s workshop for Javanese Gamelan. No musical experience necessary!

Dates   : 12, 19, 26 February; 4 March. (Friday Evenings)

Time    : 7.30 – 9.30pm

Venue : NUS Gamelan Room (AS2 #02-01, besides LT11 and Humble Origins Cafe)

Fee        : $60 for 4 sessions

For full details, please see our flyer: Javanese Gamelan Course 2016

All participants will be invited to perform at the Department’s annual South-East Asian Night, held this year on 11 March. To register, please use the contact form (click here) to indicate your interest. We’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible 🙂

Here’s some photographs from our previous workshop and Southeast Asian Night 2015:

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Adventures in Solo

January 12, 2016

Last December, we packed up and went over to Solo for a week of rehearsals, private lessons, jalan-jalan, and food:

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Hoping 2016 will be another awesome year! As always, if you’re curious to see what we’re up to, our regular rehearsals are always free and open to the public. More information on the sidebar at the right (if you’re using a computer), or (if you’re on a mobile device), select “Profile and History” from the drop down menu, and scroll to the bottom of the page to see it..

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Rehearsals during Ramadan

July 1, 2015

We usually continue with latihan (‘practices’/’rehearsals’) through ramadan, but with the addition of a “Bukber”, or “Buka Bersama” before the rehearsal proper. Add this to our regular mid-rehearsal snack, and you get…

We’re hard at work preparing for upcoming performances – but our rehearsals are still always open for anyone who wants to join in to listen, play along, or ‘nglaras’ with us 🙂

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Come play with us!

April 4, 2015

If you’re interested in:

  • playing a music that is deep and complex yet with a gentle learning curve
  • discovering Javanese culture through one of its most refined performing arts
  • joining an ensemble who is serious about having a seriously relaxing time

…come play with us! See the sidebar on the right for details of our rehearsals which are always open to anyone who would like to watch, listen, and play along. Just drop us a message using the contact form on this blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

I don’t have any musical background… is that ok?

Perfectly fine 🙂 The notation we use is number based, and the tuning of our instruments is non-western, meaning that perfect (western) pitch is not a requirement in any way.

What if I’m not related to NUS in any way?

Not a problem! Our ensemble is open to everyone regardless of race, language, religion, or affiliation etc.

Should I wait for your next Beginners’ Course before joining your regular ensemble?

Not necessary. The learning curve for Javanese Gamelan is gentle, and our more experienced members will guide you along. New players are often put on the “balungan”, a basic but integral part played in unison by several musicians. As musicians become more experienced , we encourage them to learn other instruments to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the music.

Are there any membership fees?

None at all – though we never object to donations of break time cake 😉

Will I get to perform?

Although a casual amateur group, we do have opportunities to perform both within and without the university.

Tell me a little more about the music you play.

Gamelan music today is widely played and appreciated in Java in a variety of contexts: as an accompaniement to traditional dance and shadow puppet theatre, as an integral part of events such as weddings and ceremonies,  as part of a cultural heritage, and as instrumental concert music to be enjoyed for its own sake. It is also as a music that brings communities of amateurs and professionals in casual “jamming” sessions called latihan, which is essentially what our weekly rehearsals are.

Our ensemble specialises in Javanese Gamelan of the Solonese Style, which originates from Surakarta (Solo) and is considered more gentle and refined than other varieties.  Besides instrumental music, we have also provided accompaniement for a variety of traditional and contemporary dances.

To be honest, I’m more interested in Balinese/ Sundanese/ Malay styles of Gamelan.

While we don’t play those styles of gamelan for logistical reasons (we don’t have the sets specific to them), we will be happy to put you in contact with Singaporean ensembles that do play them.

My research/course of study is linked to Javanese Gamelan. Can you help?

Apart from affording a musician’s perspective which will enrich your study or research, some of our members (and our Director, Professor Jan Mrazek), are academics who may be able to help you with the theoretical/ academic aspects of the music.

I’d like to engage the ensemble for a performance or workshop.

Please feel free to contact us with your requirements, so we can take it from there 🙂