Java and Wales music sensation: Gamelan Cardiff - Tourism Indonesia


Monday, July 23, 2012

Java and Wales music sensation: Gamelan Cardiff

The Java and Wales music sensation Gamelan Cardiff celebrated their fifteen year anniversary at the yearly Gamelan Cardiff Prom, held at St David's Hall Cardiff, Wales on Sunday.

Program Director of People Service of PPI United Kingdom, M Fauzan Adziman, told ANTARA that the Cultural Olympiad event held in Wales was a series scheduled prior to Olympiad 2012 in London.

Indonesian Ambassador of Education and Cultural in London, TA Fauzi Soelaiman, also attended the 15th anniversary of Gamelan Cardiff in England. Soelaiman admitted that music groups of Indonesian culture such as Gamelan Cardiff were unique and should be protected by Indonesians.

Gamelan Cardiff is a Javanese gamelan music group which is made up of 15 musicians from Wales. Gamelan Cardiff was started in 1998, said Helen Woods, chief of the music group as well as its music composer.

Last year, those attending the Gamelan Cardiff Prom anniversary heard more Javanese songs. Meanwhile, this year Javanese songs were only performed at the beginning of the show.

"The Wales contemporary songs combined with Javanese gamelan were so stunning," said a member of the audience, Elly Mills, who said she has enjoyed gamelan in Wales for the last four years.

The event closed with the playing of Elemental, a combination of gamelan and an adaptation of David Woods, from the folklore of Wales which told the story of a princess.

"Apart from the performance, we introduce gamelan to children in the Gamelan Gang program, and also offered workshop programs at the student college," said Rhian Workman, one of Gamelan Cardiff musicians.

Gamelan Cardiff began due to the presence of the Halle Gamelan group from the Manchester Orchestra. Helen learned the music from Maria Mendonza, a member of Halle Gamelan.

One of Helen's colleagues, as well as founder of Gamelan Cardiff, Betty Griffith, has traveled to Yogyakarta to observe gamelan being performed.

The collecting of original Indonesian gamelan instruments has been supported by St David's Hall and New Theater Trust (now Art Active Trust), Cardiff. (Antara)

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