Collections of themed recordings curated by John Noise Manis

Gamelan of Java – Two. Contemporary Composers

 

Six compositions by six musicians, all faculty members of ISI (Institut Seni Indonesia), Surakarta. The creations, each less than ten-minute long, are the result of a commision that I proposed to the musicians. They operated as an artistic group, benefiting from the consequent synergies of the situation. Joko Purwanto acted as a coordinator, and he has to be thanked for this role. The arrangements, initiated in April 2008, were rather straightforward, and the recording of the pieces took place in September of the same year.

Naturally, the musicians were entirely free to conceive and realize their compositions, and working as a group with effective communication and collaboration they succeded in producing a set of pieces which offer a wonderful variety of musical languages and sounds, while being excitingly innovating, each in his own direction. This CD presents the works in alphabetic order of the composers’ names.

I asked each composer to illustrate his own piece. So here are the six commentaries, together with some brief biographical notes.

(John Noise Manis)

 

Track 1Al Suwardi: Jineman Langgam SINDHEN KEWEK laras barang miring

A siteran ensemble is one of the less popular kinds of gamelan ensemble found in Java, especially in Surakarta (Solo). The siteran ensemble experienced its “golden age” in the 1920s and 1930s but is now becoming extinct. Perhaps one of the main reasons for this is that the musicians themselves do not pay any attention to developing new playing techniques and creating new pieces that are suited to the character of the ensemble.
In the light of this situation, I attempt to offer new possibilities of treatment (garap) and a new composition in the hope that it will help revitalize the development of siteran.
The aim of this composition is to explore different kinds of  treatment in a siteran ensemble. The ensemble consists mainly of plucked string instruments (Clempung, Siter Barung and Siter Penerus), and it is important that each instrument should be explored by employing many different playing techniques in order to manipulate them into the garap. The vocal melody functions as a reference for exploring the different playing techniques and garap of each instrument. A pair of clempung play imbal technique, while the siter barung and penerus embellish the vocal melody to fill in their parts.
Jineman and Langgam are two different genres in Javanese music. While jineman is a genuine Javanese musical genre, langgam is a genre adapted from kroncong style. In this composition, the two forms – jineman and langgam – are used because the vocal melody is identical to langgam, but the musical instruments are treated as in jineman – in this case the composer uses ketawang form. The title of the composition is “Sindhen-Kewek”. Sindhen or pesindhen is a solo female singer in the Javanese gamelan and kewek is an adjective meaning ‘coquettish’ or ‘flirtatious’, especially for a woman. The text of the song tells about the nature of sindhen kewek.

 

Biographical note

Aloysius Suwardi (b. 1951, in Sukoharjo, Central Java) is presently Senior Lecturer at Institut Seni Indonesia (ISI) Surakarta. He studied gamelan music at the high school conservatory for the arts (Kokar), then at Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia or ASKI (now ISI), the art college in Surakarta. He completed his M.A. in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, U.S.A. in 1997, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the Asian Cultural Council.
From 1985 to 1987 he was a Fulbright visiting scholar to the USA, teaching at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio; Michigan University, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Wisconsin University, Madison, Wisconsin. While in the US, he frequently travelled to Canada to teach gamelan at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, B.C. In 1999 and 2001 he taught gamelan at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and was one of the Monash Silver Jubilee recipients which enabled him to pursue a Ph.D. in Music Composition at Monash, although he eventually decided to withdraw from the program.
Suwardi has developed a fine reputation as a composer, gamelan teacher, gamelan player (both traditional and contemporary), gamelan tuner and restorer, and experimental instrument maker. It is not surprising that he is often referred to as “a man of many talents.”
As a composer, Suwardi is best known for his works that make use of his own experimental instruments. His compositions have been performed in many different cities in the world, participating in new music festivals such as: the Indonesian-American Cultural Exhibition in the U.S. and Canada; the First International Music Festival in Samarqand, Uzbekistan; the Asian-Composers League in Bangkok, Thailand; the Island to Island Festival in London, U.K; the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa; the International Gamelan Festival in Amsterdam, Holland; Art Summit Indonesia III, and many others. He has also presented papers at a number of conferences.

 

Track 2Darno Kartawi: TENGORO

‘Tengoro’ is a Javanese word which literally means a sign. In this concept, tengoro is a sign of the phenomenon in the life of the village community in the area between Banyumas (Central Java) and Sunda (West Java), particularly in their social activities. Tengoro is a reflection of village life, with all its complexities, which the composer attempts to interpret in the form of a musical composition.
The work was influenced by the composer’s background and childhood which was spent in a village close to the border between Banyumas and Sunda. Many of his childhood experiences and memories related to social phenomena still influence the composer’s way of life and provide a unique source of inspiration for his creativity.

Banyumas art is characterized by a spirit of togetherness. It is an inseparable part of the community which for generations has grown to become forthright and outspoken, as seen in various aspects of its daily life – far from the hegemony of the kraton culture.
In general, the nature or character of the Banyumas culture can be divided into three types: Banyumasan style, wetanan (Surakarta-Yogyakarta) style, and kulonan or Sundanese style. This reminds us of Anderson Sutton’s description of Banyumas culture as a combination of Sundanese and Javanese elements. The existence of these three styles shows that in addition to having its own style, based on local tradition, Banyumas is also influenced by the cultures from the east (wetanan) or Surakarta/Yogyakarta, and the west (kulonan) or Sunda.
Bamboo is known for its wide range of uses and functions. One of the most interesting of these functions is when bamboo is used as a medium or symbol of sound to signify the level of civilization. In the Javanese community, sound symbols are commonly used to signify the social status or classification in the community, one example being the way in which symbols are conveyed through sound. This phenomenon was interesting to use as the inspiration for a musical composition, which attempted to reconstruct the chronology of community life, ranging from the most simple to the most complex lifestyle.

The material for this composition includes rhythmic patterns in the form of imbal, melodies played in unison, free sounds created by pounding the bamboo tubes on the floor, an interaction of non-harmonic sound, and vocal tembang and laopan. The imbal played on the jengglong jinjing instrument is based on the imbal patterns played on the gambang in a Banyumas Calung ensemble, a kind of transfer of traditional imbal patterns developed on three instruments. The material for the vocal part is taken from the day to day language of the Banyumas community set to a new melody whose pitches are adopted from the tuning of Cirebon style gamelan found in the border region between Banyumas and West Java.
The names of the instruments used in this work are as follows:
– kentur, made from bamboo and tuned like the kenong in a gamelan calung ensemble
three gambang from a gamelan calung ensemble
– jengglong jinjing, made from bamboo, tuned like the dhendhem in a gamelan calung ensemble, held while struck to produce a sound
– jengglong duduk, this instrument is a dhendem key from a gamelan calung ensemble, made from bamboo and pounded on the floor to produce a sound
– keprak, made from split bamboo
– gong (bamboo gong)
vocals.
Some vocal parts in ‘Tengoro’ attempt to create a particular atmosphere and do not have a literal meaning. The first meaningful text is a description of the life of a village boy who works hard, taking buffalos to graze, collecting grass, and never giving up. He never stops walking and never leaves any work undone, in the hope that if he works hard he will find the way to achieve glory. Toward the end of the composition two short stanzas are sung by a pesindhen. The first goes like this: “Ikan cucut (a kind of fish) swimming in the sea, pushed by the waves, tail moving right and left, from Kendal to Ciamis via Mount Merapi, goodbye do not cry, we will meet again someday.” The other text describes a person of a high social status who is always filled with the fear of death; he is also afraid of the laws of nature because nature will punish anyone according to his crimes or sins.

 

Biographical note

Darno Kartawi was born in Cilacap, 5 February 1966.
Education: SMKI Banyumas (graduated in1986), STSI Surakarta (graduated in 1991).
In 1992 Darno was appointed assistant lecturer at STSI Surakarta.
He has taken part in numerous karawitan concerts and performances both in Indonesia and abroad. In 1994, he was involved in making the music for the film ‘Bulan Tertusuk Ilalang’ in Semarang and Yogya together with Suka Harjana. In the same year he performed in the karawitan accompaniment for the dance ‘Sekartaji’ at the opening of Kansai Airport in Japan. He performed in Sardono W. Kusumo’s ‘Opera Diponegoro’ in Jakarta in 1995 and in Rahayu Supanggah’s composition entitled ‘Gong’ in Austria in 1996. In 2001 he took part in a performance of I Wayan Sadra’s compositions ‘Sekargendot’ and ‘Jengek’ in Sapporo, Japan, and in Elly D. Luthan’s dance composition ‘Kunthi Pilih’ in The Netherlands in 2002.
As a lecturer at STSI Surakarta Darno currently teaches Indonesian Music, Banyumas Music, and Music Composition.
Darno’s compositions  are numerous. The following list comprises only the most recent ones.
Karawitan for wayang innovation Sipengecut Aswatama (2001), bamboo music composition Ricik-Ricik (2001), arrangement of ethnic music Ronda Malam for the Volcloor Festival in Miltenberg, Germany (2002), Asu Gedhe Menang Kerahe (2002), arrangement of ethnic Javanese songs Prau Layar for a Choir Festival at Unpar, Bandung (2003), composition of Calung and Gending-gending Banyumasan performed at the Asia Pacific Bamboo Congress in New Delhi, India (2004), composition of Lengger and Calung Marungan (2004), calung composition Bukan Balung (2004), innovative work of Lengger and Calung Sekargadhung  (2005), Pantura Full Music, performed in Surabaya (2005), Eling for the opening of MTQ for Central Java, held in Cilacap (2005), Evolusi Bambu, performed at the Asia-Europe Music Festival in Berlin (2005), Cong Lung music experiment at Taman Budaya Jateng (2005), Senggol-senggolan, performed in Surabaya (2007).

 

Track 3Joko Purwanto: WAKTU DAN RUANG

I give this composition the title “Waktu dan Ruang” (Time and Space). All kinds of music throughout the world use time and space as a starting point for the musicians to play, interact, and complement one another’s parts. “Time” concerns how long or short a note should last before moving on to the next note, or how many seconds an instrument playing the main melody needs to wait between one note and the next. “Space” is concerned more with how many beats or notes an instrument should play to fill in the space between the notes played by another instrument, such as the instrument playing the main melody or balungan. Hence, the other instruments involved in the composition make use of this space to interact and complement one another. This causes these instruments to compete for space and at times creates a clash between the instruments.
The instruments used in this composition are mainly instruments from a Surakarta gamelan ageng ensemble, including Gong, Kempul, Kenong, Bonang Penembung, Bonang Barung, Bonang Penerus, Slenthem, Gender Barung, Gender Penerus, and Rebab, with the addition of two Cellos and a vocal part.
In the early stages of working on this composition, the idea was to make use of the above instruments as a sound source, but ultimately the composition still uses many traditional techniques and cengkok found in Javanese karawitan. This is due to the background of the composer who was born and raised in a strong tradition of Javanese karawitan. The new element in this composition is the sound of the cello which I treated as a rebab playing with a heavy sound in a lower register. The use of two cellos, which function in the same way as the rebab, provides a new effect, with a heavier and more solid sound quality, and when the two cellos play in unison, they create a new kind of musical colour which enriches the Javanese aesthetical nuance.
This composition was inspired by the tembang macapat (traditional Javanese sung poetry) entitled Durma-Gagatan, laras pélog pathet nem. In this song, the final notes of each line are 5 and 1, and these are also used as the main notes in my composition. During the compositional process, however, I added two other notes, 2 and 6, between the 5 and 1, to produce the sequence 5 6 1 2, so that notes 5 and 1 are not always felt as the strong notes.
At the beginning of the composition, 5 6 1 2 are the important notes, with particular emphasis on the sèlèh note 2, particularly when played in tremolo. The cellos start by playing the notes 5 6 1 2 in free rhythm, followed by the other instruments which play in tremolo. In this section I attempt to emphasize the idea that time and space are not strictly fixed for any of the instruments. The other instruments simply follow the cello’s lead. This section is played twice.
Notes 5 6 1 2 continue to dominate the composition in the second section. During the second section almost all of the instruments elaborate on the balungan melody, played by the slenthem, with each phrase ending on notes 5 6 1 and 2. In this section, I attempt to strengthen the concept of time and space which I explained above. At certain points, all the instruments stop playing so that all that can be heard is the final note of the phrase as it continues to resonate. When one instrument starts to play, all the other instruments (with the exception of the bonang barung) compete to join in. The gender barung plays a more leading role as its ability to elaborate on the melody determines the rhythm of the music. This section is also played twice.
The third section begins with metric rhythms, the main melodic focus being the slenthem phrase ending on notes 1 and 5 (3 2 3 1, 5 6 3 5), which the other instruments use as a reference for developing their own parts. In this section, the cello becomes more dominant, as do the bonang barung and bonang penerus which play klénangan to provide rhythmic and metric support. The time and space in this third section are increasingly restricted by the more metric rhythms. The interaction between the cellos, gender barung, and gender penerus comes across more strongly in this section.
The fourth section continues with the rhythms of the previous one, which became increasingly faster towards the end of the section, in an attempt to show that these faster rhythms – marked by the kempul, gong, and kenong, with the slenthem providing the melodic framework – make the time and space narrower and more difficult for the other instruments to fill. In this section, I include the tembang macapat Durma-Gagatan, pélog nem, which I modified to fit in with the previous sense of aesthetical continuity, and provided a second vocal part which is sung in a free rhythm.
Towards the end of the composition, the tempo slows and the rhythms played on the gender penerus change to 6/8 time. These rhythms, which are rarely found in Javanese karawitan, are emphasized by the two cellos, and the gender barung also joins in, adapting to fit the melodic phrases of the cello.

 

Biographical note

Joko Purwanto was born in 1957 in Karanganyar, Solo. He started to study karawitan at Sekolah Menengah Karawitan Indonesia (SMKI), continued to Sekolah Tinggi Seni Indonesia (STSI) Surakarta, graduating in 1984, and earned an MA from York University, England in 1989.  He has been teaching at ISI Surakarta since 1980. Between 1985 and 1988 Joko taught Javanese karawitan at the Indonesian Embassy in England, and during his time in the UK he also taught at Oxford University, Cambridge University, Durham University, York University, and the South Bank Centre.  In 1994 he was invited to teach karawitan at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada, and from 2002 to 2003 he taught Javanese karawitan at the University of Oregon in America. He has also travelled widely, taking part in numerous art missions to Europe, Canada, Asia, and United States. His compositions to date include the dance music “Putus dan Terhempas”, the composition “Siter”, performed at the Young Composers Week in Jakarta, “Lebaran”, composed and performed for his final MA assignment at York University, dance music performed at Gelar Budaya Nusantara in Jakarta, music for the first Kraton Festival in Surakarta, “Melik”, performed at the Asean Composers League in the Philippines, musical illustrations for the TV series “Bagus Burham”, and the composition “Sumbang”.

 

Track 4Prasadiyanto: UKELAN

Ukel is the name of a technique used for playing the gender. It requires flexibility in movement of the left wrist while the right hand plays at half the speed of the left hand. In ukel, three notes are played in succession, beginning with the highest note of the three and ending on the middle note.
The composition ‘Ukelan’ is in laras sléndro and uses the following instruments: gender barung, gender penerus, slenthem, gambang, rebab, and gong. These instruments are in fact the same as those used in a gadhon ensemble, minus the kendhang. This type of ensemble was chosen because the small number of garap or embellishing instruments enable the sound of the gender and its exotic playing style to be heard more clearly.  In fact, the idea behind the composition is to present the technique of ukelan on the gender, using gender cengkok in the lower range of the instrument, combined with other garap instruments with a soft sound, in order that the gender be more prominent. The slenthem and gong are also included to provide emphasis on the strong sèlèh notes.
The composition Ukelan is in two parts. The first part presents the gender ukelan technique, both in full or in irama dadi, and also in half patterns, in irama tanggung. The ukelan technique in irama dadi is taken from the piece entitled ‘Dhèndhèng kenthing’ and played by the gender penerus. The second part of the composition uses the lowest notes of the instrument, notes which are rarely played when performing traditional gendhing. To support these lower notes, the rebab is intentionally given a simpler melody to play, with few wiledan, while the gambang uses the technique of Sundanese gambang playing which uses much fewer notes than the gambang in Surakarta style karawitan.
The composition begins with the gender penerus playing the first part of ‘Dhèndhèng kenthing’, an old children’s song which was once very popular. This is repeated several times together with the other instruments. The second repetition is played together with the gender barung which plays the sarugan technique, the slenthem providing emphasis on the sèlèh notes. In the third repetition, the gender barung plays the ukelan, starting from the sèlèh note 3 (dhadha), and then descending to note 6 (nem). The piece ‘Dhèndhèng kenthing’ is highly suited to ukelan technique because the sèlèh notes move downwards in step, and are also the strong sèlèh notes for pathet manyura, so this example of ukelan gender is the basic technique for playing the gender instrument in pathet manyura. In the following repetition, the gambang joins in and plays patterns in accordance with the particular sèlèh note. When the gambang starts to play, the slenthem plays with kinthilan technique, playing half a beat behind the sèlèh note. At the end of this section, the gender barung plays ompak gender with the sèlèh note 6 (nem), and then repeats the final section one more time, continuing with ompak gender to sèlèh 2 (gulu). The next section is ukelan in irama tanggung with ascending sèlèh notes, starting on sèlèh 3 and ending on sèlèh 6, continuing with ompak gender to sèlèh 2 (gulu), followed by ukelan tanggung with descending sèlèh notes, starting with sèlèh 1 (penunggul) and ending on sèlèh 3 (dhadha), then continuing with ompak gender to the sèlèh note 2 (gulu). This section ends with pathetan sléndro manyura, beginning on note 1 (penunggul) in the final part and continuing to the end.
The second part begins with an introduction (buka) on the rebab, with sèlèh note 6 (nem). Here the gender barung plays the melody, using the lower notes of the instrument, while the other instruments play simple cengkok and wiledan. The gender barung plays a more prominent part. The piece ends with a repetition of the first melody, played over and over and gradually fading out.

 

Biographical note

Prasadiyanto was born in Sala in 1958.
Since he was a child, he and his brothers and sisters learned gamelan music with his father, who was a puppeteer.  He entered Conservatory of Karawitan and after graduation entered ASKI, the former name of ISI Surakarta, where he teaches up to the present time.
He started composing in 1985 and has since composed both traditional and contemporary music.
In 1989-1990 he was an artist in residence in London, when he met and worked together with composers such as Alec Roth, Nigel Osborne, Adrian Lee.
In 1993 he was invited by Stratch Clyde, Glasgow, to do a music collaboration with Paragon ensemble for a Community Project, especially for disabled people. His composition was performed in Australia, during the Warana Festival, Queensland.
In 1995 he composed a dance music which was performed in Germany during the tour with the local goverment of Central Java.  He was asked to compose for the Asia Pasific Folk Music Festival in the Philippines.
In 2002 he was invited by Widosari, a gamelan group in Amsterdam to compose and perform his pieces together with Adrian Lee of London. Other compositions include Ramayana dance music, Denpasar, Bali; Imbal-imbalan, Pekan Komponis Bandung; Dolanan, Taman Budaya Jawa Tengah, Surakarta.
In 2003 and 2004 he was guest music director of The South Bank Gamelan Players for the performance of Ramayana in London and Padova.
As a gamelan teacher, he has been teaching in England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore. As a musician he has been performing in Europe, America, and Asia.
In 2004 he got a Master degree on Music Performance from Kingston University, London.

 

Track 5Sri Harta: PUTHUT GELUT

The composer was interested in developing a musical idea through a particular pattern of treatment, or garap, often used in Javanese karawitan, known as cengkok Puthut Gelut. The cengkok Puthut Gelut is performed on several different instruments such as the gender, rebab, gambang, and also the bonang. All of these instruments have different technical patterns and wiledan. The composer attempted to create a new musical composition by developing, arranging, and interpreting the different patterns and wiledan and performing them on a new set of instruments made from wood, known as ‘Gamelan Oprok’.
‘Puthut Gelut’ is a term used frequently in the world of karawitan (in particular Javanese karawitan). In the Javanese dictionary the definition of puthut is power or strength, and the meaning of gelut is to argue, fight, or battle. Hence, Puthut Gelut is a battle between two different strengths or powers (or cengkok in karawitan) which are combined to become a single unit and ultimately create a new form of treatment known as cengkok Puthut Gelut. For example, in the balungan:   2 2 . .   5 3 2 1, the gender, gambang and rebab usually play the cengkok Puthut Gelut. If the balungan:  2 2 . . stands alone, it is usually treated with  cengkok gantungan 2, while the balungan: 5 3 2 1 is treated with the cengkok Kuthuk Kuning Kempyung or Jarik Kawung (depending on the preceding melodic line). But if the two balungan are joined together, they are treated as a single unit, which in turn produces the new cengkok Puthut Gelut. In cengkok Puthut Gelut, each of the garap instruments, such as rebab, gender, gambang, and even bonang, has its own different patterns, garap, and wiledan.
In addition to the balungan line 2  2  .  .    5  3  2  1, many other balungan lines are performed with the cengkok puthut gelut. For example:
.  .  3  2    5  3  2  1
3  5  3  2    5  3  2  1
.   2  .   3    .   2  .   1
2  3  5  3    2  1  2  1
This phenomenon provided the inspiration for the composer to attempt to mix and combine several kinds of garap, patterns, and wiledan, from the rebab, gender, and bonang, for different balungan lines which use the cengkok puthut gelut, and from these different patterns to create a new musical composition.
The medium used for this composition is a new set of musical instruments made from wood, Gamelan Oprok, and consist of two log sets, two instruments with large keys, two instruments with small keys, two gambang, a suling, and a bamboo gong. The musical approach to the composition intended to make use of various elements from both traditional and non-traditional music. The traditional influence was in the use of cengkok, rhythmic patterns, irama, laya, vocal melodies, volume, and dynamics from the traditional karawitan of Banyumas, Yogyakarta, Sunda, and Surakarta, to create a more varied style of garap. The non-traditional influence meant the use of sounds sources which are not normally used in any kind of traditional karawitan. In relation to these, the composer was not concerned with laras, cengkok, irama, or harmonization.

 

Biographical note

Sri Harta was born in Karanganyar, Central Java, 13 January 1960.
He graduated from SD Negri Kebakkramat II in 1972, from SMP Negri Kebakkramat in 1976, from Konservatori/SMKI Sala in 1980, from S1 Program at ASKI Surakarta in 1985, from S2 Program at STSI Surakarta in 2005.

Has taken part in numerous art festivals at various places in Indonesia and abroad, including the IKI Festival, Young Composers Festival, several dance festivals, Borobudur Festival, HARKITNAS Concert, and several art missions to Scotland, England, Hong Kong, The Philippines, and Germany.

His compositions include: ‘Bloong’, ‘Sepi Ing Rame’, ‘Ayu Kuning II’, ‘Sri Gugah’, compositions for Gamelan Oprok, musical accompaniment for Topeng dance, dance music ‘Polah Tingkah’, dance music ‘Marewo’, dance music ‘Krenteg’, music for dance-drama ‘Maha Karya’, performed at the Borobudur Festival, and numerous compositions to accompany final dance examinations.

 

Track 6Supardi: PAPAT

The word ”papat” in Javanese means ”four”. As we know, a Javanese gamelan ensemble has two different tunings, sléndro and pélog. Laras sléndro, which has the notes 1 2 3 5 and 6 (ji ro lu ma and nem), is used as the basis for the composition “Papat”. However, the composer chose to use only four of the notes from the sléndro scale aiming at creating a karawitan composition that used various different treatments of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese gamelan. For example, treatments of the bonang instrument from the Javanese gamelan ensemble include klenengan technique/patterns, imbal and sekaran, mipil and gembyang. In addition, norot technique/patterns are used on the reyong instrument from a Balinese gamelan, and imbal technique on the kendhang ketipung from a Sundanese gamelan.
This composition also uses a number of different forms of gendhing from the Javanese gamelan, including lancaran form in irama lancar and irama tanggung, ladrang form with kendhang ciblon and kendang satu, ladrang in irama dadi using triple time signature, and Balinese gegilakan form. These forms were interpreted to create different moods, and used as a starting point for creating a new karawitan composition.
The composition “Papat” uses mainly pencon instruments, including bonang penembung, bonang barung, bonang penerus, kenong, kempul and gong, all in laras sléndro, together with a kendhang ciblon and four Sundanese ketipung, also in laras sléndro. To create a fuller and more rounded composition, particular treatment is given to a variety of elements, including dynamics, rhythm, volume, musical patterns, and continuity.
The piece begins with a series of klenangan patterns played on the bonang, then continues in lancaran form, with four gongan played several times in irama lancar. Next, the bonang penembung and bonang barung play the main melody, followed by imbal patterns played on the Sundanese ketipung, tuned to sléndro, to create a vibrant, energetic effect. The second part of the lancaran form follows, in irama tanggung, played on the bonang barung, which uses mipil rangkep technique (like the mipil rangkep technique played on the bonang in a sekatèn ensemble), alternating with norot technique on the Balinese reyong, while the main melody played on the bonang penembung creates a feeling of calm.
The combination of bonang barung with klenangan technique and sekaran bonang, alternating with kendang ciblon in irama dadi in triple time, together with the bonang penembung which provides the main melody, aims at creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere. The final part of the composition presents interlocking patterns of imbal on the bonang barung and Sundanese kendang ketipung, interspersed with bonang penembung and bonang penerus in Balinese gegilakan form, providing a powerful and dynamic atmosphere.

 

Biographical note

Supardi, S.Kar. M.Hum, was born in Klaten,  17 March 1958.

Education: graduated from Sekolah Dasar Negeri Mrisen in 1970, from Sekolah Menengah Ekonomi Pertama (SMEP) in 1973, from Konservatori Karawitan (KOKAR) Surakarta in 1977, from Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia (ASKI) Surakarta in 1985, from Universitas Gadjah Mada, Postgraduate Program in Performing Arts and Visual Arts Studies in 2004.
Compositions: Dance music ”Kemelut”, 1984; karawitan composition ”Sora”, 1985; karawitan composition ”Loro-Loro”, 1990; karawitan composition for dance, ”Sayang Ibu” performed in Karanganyar, 1996; karawitan composition ”Lurojinem”, 1998.
Art missions outside Indonesia: France and England, 1982; Vancouver, Canada, 1986; Japan, 1990 and 1999; Austria, 1996; Berlin, Germany,  2005; Singapore, 1982 and 2003.
Teaching experience outside Indonesia:
taught gamelan at Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon, from 1991 to 1993
taught gamelan to Siegen Gamelan Orchestra, Siegen, Germany, 1999
taught gamelan to Asmarandana Group Singapore, 2006.

 

Track 1 –  Al Suwardi:  SINDHEN KEWEK  (siteran in barang miring) – 7:59
Track 2 –  Darno Kartawi:   TENGORO   (bamboo and calung instruments) – 8:53
Track 3 –  Joko Purwanto:  WAKTU DAN RUANG   (bowed strings) – 9:14
Track 4 –  Prasadiyanto:  UKELAN   (genders) – 7:47
Track 5 –  Sri Harta:  PUTHUT GELUT   (wood logs, ‘gamelan oprok’) – 8:42
Track 6 –  Supardi:  PAPAT   (pencon instruments) – 7:23

 

Players: the six Composers plus
Agus Prasetyo
Bagong Pujiono
Heni Savitri
Nurwanto
Rudy Triatmoko
Sigit Prasetyo
Sriyati

Recordings made on September 21, 2008, at the Studio of ISI Surakarta.
Mastering and photos: John Noise Manis

 

Yantra Productions
yantra@gamelan.it