Siswå Sukrå is a community group playing Javanese gamelan, formed from the intermediate and advanced community groups based at the Southbank Centre in London consisting of 15-20 people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds.
The group performs regularly in London. We have a wide repertoire of popular pieces, songs and dance accompaniments, as well as more refined music from the Royal Palaces of Solo and Jogja.
Our teacher is Pete Smith, who lived and studied in Java in the past, and devotes his life in the UK to teaching gamelan and imparting his knowledge and love of all aspects of Javanese culture.
We now want to visit Indonesia: to meet Indonesian people, experience the culture, learn from Javanese gamelan musicians, and to perform. Although the members of Siswå Sukrå are experienced gamelan players, are passionate about the music, and love learning about Javanese culture, most of us have never been to Indonesia. A few members of the group have studied in Java, and long to return.
This trip will be a dream come true for everyone in Siswå Sukrå.
So far our plans include:
- performing in the main pendopo at ISI, the arts conservatoire in Solo (one of the main centres of gamelan in Java) where Pete and a few other members of Siswå Sukrå have studied in the past
- visiting and performing in some of the villages around Solo: at weddings, school assemblies and village festivals
- visiting the Mangkunegaran Palace in Solo to watch the dance rehearsals and other gamelan performances
- attending some of the local gamelan rehearsals in Solo
- performing at one of the royal palaces in either Solo or Jogja
- playing at an all-night wayang (shadow puppet) performance
- playing at the Taman Budaya (major arts venue) in Jogja
- playing at the monthly Balai Soedjatmoko in Solo (high profile gamelan session)
- playing for broadcast on RRI Solo (national public radio station)
We plan to go for two weeks in August 2017.
We are seeking sponsorship to help cover the costs of the trip, in particular our return flights.