Gamelan Wedding Chimes, 12 July 2015
From the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, London:
- DANCE: Gambyong Pangkur pl 7. Siswå Sukrå joined forces with the Southbank Intermediate Group, who rehearse before us on Thursday nights, to perform the popular welcoming dance, Gambyong Pangkur. The gambyong dance was originally performed by professional dancing girls (ronggèng/tledhèk), but has been refined and accepted as a classical dance. It represents a woman adorning herself. With gambyong dances it’s a case of the more the merrier, and we were lucky enough to have four wonderful dancers on this occasion: Ni Made Pujawati, Andrea Rutkowski, Dewi Ariati and Widya Rachmawati.
- Dangdhut Swårå suling + Warung pojok. Two modern pieces in very informal style.
- Gendhing Randu kentir mg ladrang Ayun-ayun pl 6.
- Ketawang Brondhong menthul sl m. Another popular piece at Javanese weddings, Ketawang Brondhong Menthul, is a sweet depiction of the wedding night to come. Brondhong menthul are the dyed-pink popcorn decorations that traditionally adorn the bride’s headdress and the marital bed. They quiver as the newly-weds retire to their bed…
- DANCE: Tari Karonsih, danced by Ni Madé Pujawati and Andrea Rutkowski. This is an example of a couple dance, popular at weddings. The title means ‘united in love’. The dancers portray Prince Panji and his wife Dewi Sekartaji, universal symbols of true love and constancy from the Panji cycle of tales. Sekartaji wanders the palace at night alone, awaiting the return of her husband, long absent for some war or mission. He returns unannounced, and the dance depicts him placating and then consoling his wife before the couple unite in joy. Unusually, the accompaniment switches between the two tunings, from pélog to sléndro.
City of London Festival, 4 July 2015
To fit the 2015 Festival’s theme – the countries that the East India Company traded with – Siswå Sukrå presented a programme under the title The East India Company Meets the Gamelan. Longer programme notes can be downloaded here (PDF, 74 kB). A selection of pieces:
- Ketawang Mijil lagu dhempèl sl 9. This is a vocal piece from the accompaniment to one of the srimpi dances of the royal palace. The text, set in a classical Javanese verse metre, is advice on the responsibilities of kingship.
- Gendhing Mådyåratri kt 2 kp mg 4 kal ladrang Låråasmårå sl 9 – a rare klenèngan piece from the repertoire of the Pakualaman court at Yogyakarta. The ladrang includes vocal lines with miring notes – placed ‘in the cracks’ between the notes of the sléndro scale, as if the pélog scale is being introduced briefly.
- Talu sl m. A talu is a suite of pieces usually performed at the start of an all-night wayang kulit (shadow-puppet) performance. It starts slowly and sedately and gradually builds up pace and intensity, creating a wonderful burst of energy to set the wayang off on its long journey. This talu, in pathet sléndro manyurå, consists of Ladrang Sri Katon, Ketawang Sukmå Ilang, Ayak-ayakan, Srepegan, Palaran Pangkur Paripurnå, Srepegan Banyumasan and Sampak.