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GAMELAN BEATS ON PELOG II STAGE, IGF, BALAI SOEDJATMIKO: SOUND DUALISM TRANSFORMS SILENCE

International Gamelan Festival (IGF) rocked the Pelog II Stage at Bentara Budaya Balai Soedjatmoko, Surakarta, Saturday 11 August 2018. The stage hosted a gathering of artists from many parts of Indonesia and the world, performing their best works.

The opener was Surya Kencana A of Hungary and Laring Projecy. Sounds of gamelan caught the audience’s attention, as they moved closer to the stage. Although not as large as the other stages, Pelog II still managed to attract numerous people, young and old, to enjoy the show. The performers were very close to the audience, giving a warm atmosphere all around.

Surya Kencana A presented a repertoire of Darsono Jepang’s work “Langgam Raket” followed by two short pieces by Hungarian composer Gyorgy Ligeti, some Hungarian songs, and finished with “Ketawang Bronto Mendut”. The Hungarians hypnotized the audience that night with the alluring voice of the sinded, skillful rebab play, and melodious flure. Completing the ensemble is a demonstration of Wayang Suket, with a visualisation of wayang shadow play which kept the audience enchanted at their seats.

Laring Project, directed by Gema Swaratyagita and Woro Mustiko Siwi, also gave a fascinating performance, “Tuwakatsa”. The work was dedicated to the late Slamet Abdul Sjukur, a composition of gongs and vocal ensemble.

Gema and Wore took a different tack compared to previous performers. Their work’s concept was the manifestation of time. The arrangement included horizontally placed gongs beaten with bare hands, producing unique sounds. Mystical vocals added a sacred element, as well as the performance of famous puppet master Woro Mustiko Siwi. Gema and Woro concluded the night’s performance at Pelog II as IGF continues the following day at other stages. (Clara A.S. Junita)

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