Gamelan Concert to Mark Spring in Vancouver

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Indonesian Consulate in Vancouver in collaboration with School for Contemporary Art, Simon Fraser University held a gamelan concert at World Art Centre, Simon Fraser University (SFU) Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, Vancouver, 11 April 2016. The concert marked the end of gamelan class that is held at the beginning of every year at School for the Contemporary  Arts, since 1987. The class is taught by Sutrisno Hartana, Indonesian that has been teaching the gamelan to the students of the School. In 2016, more than 35 students of SFU had been enrolling into the class. At the end of the class, in spring, the students used to give a performance to the public to demonstrate their gamelan playing skill achieved during their class.

Prof. Martin Gorfrit, Associate Dean, School for Contemporary Art, in his opening remarks, extended gratitude and appreciation to Indonesian Consulate in Vancouver for its unrelenting support for the gamelan concert in Simon Fraser University every year. Prof. Martin also added that the gamelan musical instrument is inclusive for every individual regardless of their age and not only limited to those who already have the musical skill.

The gamelan concert that lasted for 1,5 hours had amazed around 60 audiences whom are comprised of general audience and several Consul Generals in Vancouver. The students not only were skilful in laying traditional gamelan tune but also could play the gamelan instrument with contemporary tune and resulting in a unique melody. Particular In this year’s concert, a sinden, a javanese singer who accompany the gamelan play, also performed and a fragment of  shadow puppet play about the story of Kumbakarna was also performed. Prior one week earlier, a group of gamelan from SFU and Sutrisno Hartana also performed during the opening ceremony of shadow puppet exhibition at Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, Simon Fraser University. The series of gamelan performance is expected to increase public’s attention to Indonesian culture.

The gamelan instrument owned by Simon Fraser University is a donation from Indonesian Government after Indonesia participated in Vancouver Expo 1986. The Gamelan instrument is named after “Kyai Madu Sari” was then donated to the University and since then under the initiative of the late Prof. Martin Bartlett, who had extensive background at Electro-acoustic Music and world Music, Centre for the Arts, the art of gamelan play then began to be studied and performed to public in Vancouver.

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