IGF’s second day, Friday 10 August 2018, kicked off with a performance by ISBI Bandung at Panggung Slendro I in Fort Vastenburg, followed by National Concert Hall Gamelan Of Ireland (Ireland), Sinjang Community (Solo), Sanggar Manik Galih Colorado (USA), Gamelan Group Lambangsari (Japan), and Samba Sunda (Bandung).
ISBI performed five contemporary pieces, engaging the audience in a quick and dynamic rhythm. One of these, entitled “Butterfly”, is a West Java-inspired arrangement with the saron, angklung, Sundanese drum, and Sundanese flute.
Next up was National Concert Hall Gamelan of Ireland (NCH) with classical gamelan pieces. In a show entitled “Gamelan Music from Ireland”, NCH presented a Yogyakarta-style karawitan with Irish musical composition. Some gending numbers they performed were “Ketawang Cakrawala” and Ki Nartosabdo’s “Prau Layar”.
The show continued with the performance of Sinjang Community, which was no less attractive. The all-female karawitan Group, founded by Mutiara Dewi Fatimah, played an arrangement entitled “Sinjang”. It told the philosophy of the jarik cloth, which is so intimate with the processes of birth, marriage, and death. The jarik cloth has such deep meaning for human life that it inspired the gamelan sekaten piece.
Afterwards the Sanggar Manik Galih took the stage, performing “Legong Manik Galih” by I Made Lasmawan, with a strong Balinese gamelan flavour. The piece is a new composition, inspired by the deities Dewi Uma, Dewi Sri, Dewi Danu, and Dewi Laksmi in the Panca Wali Krama ceremony. The upbeat music, accompanied with dance and vocalization of Balinese chants, made a complex performance.
The major “homecoming” theme can really be felt throughout the performance of “Gambyong Pareanom” by Gamelan Lambangsari from Japan. Lambangsari, Japan’s first gamelan troupe, was founded in 1985 by the late Prof. Fumio Koizumi of Tokyo to foster collaboration between Indonesian and Japanese musicians. Therefore, their performance was also a display of gratitude to Indonesia and the International Gamelan Festival for the ongoing cultural diplomacy. The dance that accompanied “Gambyong Pareanom” added to the aesthetics of the piece, which is rather popular in Japan.
Concluding the day’s performance at Fort Vastenburg is Bandung-based gamelan troupe Samba Sunda. Its innovative fusion pieces “Taramurag” and “Harepan” enchanted the audience. Thus ended the second day of the International Gamelan Festival. The performances continue the next day, with more gamelan until Thursday, 16 August 2018 (Clara A.S. Junita).