The programme of this CD is centered on Gendhing Kutut Manggung, one of the best known and loved large compositions in the classical repertoire of Central Javanese gamelan music. For the rendition here presented I asked Bapak Suraji, one of the finest musicians and rebab players of Surakarta, to revise and enlarge the gendhing so as to accommodate various gamelan styles of Java. I also suggested that four pesindhen (female vocalists) be employed with individual parts (‘concertante’ would be the corresponding Western musical term). Pak Raji generously agreed and accomplished a great feat with this over 40-minute long rendition.
The rest of the programme includes Ladrang Siyem, with the national anthem of Siam incorporated, and Ladrang Semang, adding the flavour of the sacred Bedhaya dances.
Here we have a description of the programme pieces by Pak Suraji.
John Noise Manis
Ladrang Siyem laras slendro pathet nem was composed during the reign of Paku Buwana X, by Kanjeng Wiryadiningrat, Raden Ngabehi Atmamardawa, Raden Ngabehi Wirapradangga, and Mas Lurah Reksapangrawit (Mlayareksasa). This gendhing was composed to commemorate a royal visit by King Yadipa Sukadaya VII and his queen from Siam on 3-4 September, 1934. It is said that this ladrang was inspired by the melody of the Siamese national anthem. Today ladrang Siyem is still popular among the Javanese karawitan community in Surakarta.
Note – Andy McGraw observes that the Thai royal anthem is transformed
and distorted by the ladrang structure into a form which is unrecognizable
by most Thai musicians.
Semang exists in three different forms of gendhing, namely:
Ladrang Semang was used as gendhing beksan ‘Jemparing alit’ at the Kraton Kasunanan Surakarta during the time of Paku Buwana IV and as part of the sequence of gendhing used to accompany Srimpen ‘Bondhan Kinanthi’ during the time of Paku Buwana VIII. In a performance of gendhing srimpen ‘Bondhan Kinanthi’, the tambur, or drum, is used during the fast section of ladrang Semang.
For the present recording, I attempted to reconstruct ladrang Semang as gendhing beksan dhadhap alit, using a gerongan text taken from the episode Salya Gugur in the story of Baratayuda. I imagined that beksan dhadhap alit portrayed the battle between Prabu Salya and Prabu Puntadewa, which was won by the latter.
GENDHING KUTUT MANGGUNG
A kutut is a kind of bird (turtledove) which makes a pleasant sound and is believed to have a good aura. Some people keep the bird as a pet simply for their own pleasure. When the turtledove sings, Javanese people say that the bird (kutut) “is performing” (manggung). Hence the expression ‘kutut manggung’ has become part of the day-to-day language.
Gendhing Kutut Manggung was composed during the reign of Paku Buwana II (Wedhapradangga II, p.53). During the reign of Paku Buwana VI, another version of Kutut Manggung appeared in the form of a ‘gendhing terbang’ (Wedhapradangga III, p.115). There are two forms of Kutut Manggung, namely ‘gendhing kethuk 2 kerep minggah 4’ and ‘ladrangan’. The former is found in the form of a ‘gendhing bonang’ (Semarangan) laras pelog pathet lima. When played as a concert piece, gendhing Kutut Manggung is usually performed in the format ‘merong kethuk 2 kerep minggah ladrangan’, or as a ladrangan which is not preceded by a merong.
Following a request of John Noise Manis, I have attempted to present gendhing Kutut Manggung in a variety of new interpretations with a number of different Javanese regional influences.
The first section begins with ‘garap jineman’, where the jineman is a reinterpretation of the ladrangan melody in irama wilet, and the text is taken from lancaran Manuk.
The second section uses ‘garap bonangan semarangan’ (Semarang is a large city on the north cost of Java) which then continues with ‘garap inggah kosek alus irama wilet’ and has four pesindhen perform three different parts (one part performed by two pesindhen). The text used in this section describes the atmosphere of a forest where different kinds of birds are singing.
The third is an instrumental section in laras pelog pathet nem (nyamat). It uses a new kind of treatment that has never previously been recorded or performed live.
The forth section is in ‘Banyumas kethoprakan style’, presenting one main vocalist who is accompanied by senggakan, and also in the style badhutan/tayuban (a comic rendition which is usually used for accompanying tayub in rural areas). My intention was to present a new or different interpretation of Kutut Manggung which is not usually performed by the karawitan community but in which there is still a nuance of the original gendhing. The text used in this kethoprak version is taken from an andhegan selingan text. The use of a wangsalan text and senggakan is in line with the usual Banyumas style of performance.
The fifth section is in laras pelog pathet barang and begins with palaran, using a text and melody taken from an andhegan selingan which is usually performed in pelog barang. After the palaran the music continues with a ladrang performed in irama wilet in ‘Nartosabdan style’. The gendhing ends with inggah kethut 4 pelog pathet lima, which then changes to laras pelog pathet barang and continues in bonangan semarangan style.
NOTES, TEXTS, AND COMMENTS
collected in post-production by John Noise Manis
For better following and enjoying the long and multifarious Gendhing Kutut Manggung as revised by Pak Suraji, it should result useful for the reader/listener to have an outline of the sections with the corresponding timings:
00:00 – Buka (opening section) pathetan
01:04 – Jineman (Heni Savitri)
02:39 – Merong bonangan Semarangan style
03:46 – Ladrangan Solonese style (four pesindhen ‘in concertante’)
06:17 – Ladrangan garap rangkep (Sri Suparsih, Rini Rahayu, Heni Savitri, in succession)
10:21 – Andhegan (Yayuk Sri Rahayu)
14:59 – change of laras – from pelog nem to slendro manyura
15:18 – Ladrang garap Kethoprakan (Darsono and pesindhen)
18:00 – Ladrangan Banyumasan style (pesindhen and gerong)
25:07 – Ladrangan Sragenan style (Yayuk Sri Rahayu)
27:13 – change of laras – from slendro manyura to pelog barang
27:20 – Palaran (Sri Suparsih)
29:22 – Ladrangan Nartosabdan style (four pesindhen in unison)
31:27 – Ketawangan (Sri Suparsih)
35:50 – Inggah bonangan Semarangan style
Some comments on this performance of Kutut Manggung by three of the pesindhen:
“As a whole, a very good performance. In the calung part the pesindhen were not enough into the Banyumasan style, because of the pronunciation and the character needed to be further pushed up. In the Sragenan section the pesindhen may have not prepared very well; in fact there were some misinterpretations on the wiled”
“This performance gave me an experience about the development of treatment concerning change in laras, pathet, irama, and vocal interpretation. The novelties showed the creativity of the composer/arranger. I think it was a good experience in enhancing the beauty of Javanese music. The Ketawang part, in particular, I felt was very enjoyable, especially from the point of view of the text which was an adaptation from another piece. The result was pleasant in terms of the laras used and there was a sad feeling in the text and melodic line. I felt that the one andhegan assigned to me – in palaran style instead of the usual free tempo – was a bit restrictive, because the pesindhen had to adapt to the tempo that had been set. Ordinarily Kutut Manggung is performed in pelog barang or slendro manyura, so if performed in pelog nem it does not feel quite right. The Ketawang part is in the right mood, pelog barang, and it matches well with the pesindhen’s voice.”
Yayuk Sri Rahayu
“This was my first experience singing Kutut Manggung in pelog nem – in particular the andhegan. Usually this is performed in slendro manyura, which is known as ‘garap Condrolukitan’. In the Sragenan part, I was rather satisfied, although at the time of the recording session I did not have enough preparation. Overall, I was very happy in this experience with the peculiar ideas that had been proposed by John Noise Manis and realized in the creation by Pak Suraji.
The texts for Kutut Manggung, excluding wangsalan (non-specific rhymes chosen at will by the pesindhen), are:
The text for Ladrang Semang:
Andhé, babo, Adan pasang, Karna musthi kang sanjata
Andhé, babo, metu mutab, kinebul naraca bala
Andhé, babo, kumareteg, kumerut ing si ning Jagad
Andhé, babo, amarnani garudha myang naga
PROGRAMME AND PERFORMERS
1 – 8:48 Ladrang SIYEM slendro nem
2 – 9:48 Ladrang SEMANG pelog nem (reconstruction: Suraji)
3 – 41:00 Ragam Garap Gendhing KUTUT MANGGUNG pelog nem, slendro manyura, pelog barang (revision/rendition: Suraji)
|Sindhen||Yayuk Sri Rahayu
Sri Joko Raharjo
Recorded at ISI Surakarta, 27 June, 2010
Recording Engineer: Iwan Onone
Musical Design, Mastering, and Photos: John Noise Manis
YANTRA – Production and Digital Release