Rhythm of the Gamelan Makers

This is a great little mini-documentary that I also had illusions to making. Its a fascinating process & the one shot/sound that I wanted to shoot which they haven’t is to record ambient sounds a block away from the forge, so that the rhythms & sounds of making gamelan merge with normal street sounds…


I love the closeups of forging the big gongs, similarly in these photos:

In case anyone in Wellington is interested there is a gamelan workshop happening at Victoria University on Saturday 20th June (next weekend) – enrolment & more info here – let me know if you are going, I’ve enrolled…

Play Gamelan!
The sound of the percussion gamelan orchestras of Java and Bali has been described as ‘flowing water’, a subtle interweaving of different layers into a euphonious stream of sound. The New Zealand School of Music owns a beautiful set of instruments used for playing, teaching and learning, and the gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, can be heard regularly around Wellington.

This practical half-day session introduces the basic playing techniques of the instruments, and explains how gamelan music is put together. At the end of the session all participants will perform a classical gamelan piece together.

No previous musical knowledge or practical experience is required.
Members of the New Zealand School of Music community gamelan will also assist in the workshop.
More information about gamelan at the New Zealand School of Music visit www.gamelan.org.nz

Budi Putra is the Lecturer in Javanese gamelan at the New Zealand School of Music and Director of Gamelan Padhang Moncar. As an expert practitioner he is skilled on all gamelan instruments, as well as being a superb vocalist.

Jack Body is Associate Professor of Music at the New Zealand School of Music and Manager of Gamelan Padhang Moncar. He has had a long fascination with Indonesian gamelan, and several of his compositions have been influenced by gamelan.

Limit per course: 20

5 thoughts on “Rhythm of the Gamelan Makers

    1. admin Post author

      It is quite amazing to sit down and play one of the intruments of a Gamelan orchestra. Although I am not skilled at either gamelan or piano, I got the same big smile on my face playing gamelan for the first time as I would if I was allowed to have a play on a Steinway Concert D grand piano….
      I think my favourite are the big gongs, they are so resonant its not dissimilar to playing basslines or 808 kick drums!

    2. Natasha

      I love the sounds to they make me feel at peace and happy if i have had a bad day at work!! xxxxxxxxxxx

  1. Sébastien Orban

    I hope to get to play one part someday day too !
    For now I am thinking about getting the sound library from Soniccouture – not the same, we agree, but well, so I can use it already in my works.

    Percussion instrument are a new passion for me, so many things to learn and to hear – and so many sound design to try.

  2. Jo Hilder

    In fact, this workshop has now been postponed and will be held on Saturday 18 July. sorry for any inconvenience

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