The Dublin Gamelan, a beautiful set of bronze instruments gifted to the National Concert Hall by the Sultan of Yogyakarta, will receive their first public performance in a special Open Day in September. The traditional Indonesian instruments, with its unique tonal qualities and tunings, have found an important role within contemporary music over the last century, with many Irish composers still working with the instruments in both traditional and innovative techniques.
Ireland currently has gamelan orchestras in both UCC and UCD, with a number of student and contemporary ensembles. This new gamelan orchestra is a specially made and presented set of instruments resident in the National Concert Hall since late last year, with ensembles established under the direction of gamelan scholar and composer Dr. Peter Moran.
The Open Day will open with public workshops, with separate workshops aimed at families, children and mixed/adult groups, followed by performances from the two National Concert Hall Gamelan ensembles, featuring a mix of new compositions and traditional Javanese music. These performances include two world premieres, Leonie Tang’s One Gåtrå Short of a Lancaran, and Peter Moran’s Embat, named for the “Javanese term for the unique character and tuning of each individual gamelan orchestra, which is what this piece explores, by combining both the slendro and pelog scales of the new instruments”.
The night will finish with the official naming ceremony of the new instruments by the Sultan from whom they were gifted, Hamengkubuwono X, followed by a very special performance by the Yogyakarta Palace Musicians of classical Javanese music and dance.
Another gamelan work by Peter Moran will be performed in October in London, by the Southbank Gamelan Orchestra at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he will also give a talk on his gamelan compositions. The work is called Sailendra, titled after the ancient Indonesian dynasty for whom the 5-note slendro scale is believed to be named.
The National Concert Hall Gamelan Open Day takes place over 6 and 7 September. Many events are selling out, so early booking is recommended.
Saturday 6 September
10.30am – whole family workshop
11.30am – 7 – 11 year old workshop
12.30am – mixed age group and adults workshop
1.30pm – Informal performance of the National Concert Hall Development Gamelan Ensemble
Traditional Javanese Lancaran Kidang Talun (4mins)
Group Composition Lancaran Sky Lantern (3mins)
Leonie Tang One Gåtrå Short of a Lancaran (World Premiere) (5mins)
Traditional Javanese Lancaran Gugur Gunung (5mins)
2pm – Indonesian-Irish Association Dance Recital in the foyer
3pm – Performance by the National Concert Hall Gamelan Performance Ensemble
Traditional Javanese Ladrang Wilujeng (20mins)
Traditional Javanese Ladrang Pangkur (15mins)
Dr Peter Moran Embat (World Premiere) (7mins)
Traditional Javanese Bubaran Udan Mas (3mins)
Sunday 7 September
7pm – Gamelan Naming Ceremony with Sultan Hamengkubuwono X
Performance: Yogyakarta Palace Musicians and Dancers