Two of City's long-established resident ensembles perform the thrilling and beautiful music of the gamelan, the Indonesian orchestra of gong-chimes and metallophones. Reflecting the diversity of gamelan cultures, the two ensembles perform music from a variety of traditions, alongside new commissions: Lila Cita performs Gong Kebyar from Bali, while Sekar Enggal performs the Sundanese Gamelan Degung.
Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar: Music and Dance from Bali, performed by Lila Cita directed by Andy Channing with Lila Bhawa Indonesian Dance UK:
I Nengah Susila, Tabuh Telu Rare Manganti (2011)
I Nengah Susila, Step by Step (2021, WP)
Gamelan Degung: Sundanese music from West Java, performed by Sekar Enggal, directed by Simon Cook:
Uking Sukri, Karang Ulun naek Belenderan
Lutung Bingung naek Bendrong
Brad Smith, Ether (in mortal form), for degung and violin (WP)
Nano S., Potret Manehna
Ibu Saodah Harnadi Kusumah, Sekar Manis
About Lila Cita and Lila Bhawa:
Unlike the Western orchestra in which percussion instruments often play a supportive role, the Balinese gamelan orchestra, Gamelan Gong Kebyar, consists almost entirely of tuned bronze gongs and metallophones. These produce a fast and dynamic music, characterised by complex interlocking melodic and rhythmic patterns and punctuated by sonorous gongs.
Gamelan Lila Cita was founded in March 1992 by Andy Channing. Many of the members have studied in Bali and it is the only group in Britain that regularly performs a wide range of traditional and contemporary Balinese music. The group has performed throughout the UK and abroad, including performances at Fondacion la Caixa in Barcelona, St James’ Palace, Royal Opera House, Munich Stadtmuseum and Glastonbury Festival. Lila Cita even performed at the prestigious Bali Arts Festival in 2006.
Lila Bhawa is a London-based Indonesian dance group, specialising in traditional dances from Bali and Java. The group was set up by Ni Made Pujawati in 2002 and includes a number of experienced performers, together with younger dancers who started learning in the UK.
About Sekar Enggal:
Sekar Enggal is one of the community gamelan groups resident at City University, and is the foremost ensemble performing Sundanese music in the UK. Simon Cook brought the first gamelan instruments to City in 1990. He started playing gamelan in the Netherlands in 1979, and later lived in Indonesia for 12 years, in order to study the music.
Gamelan degung is a type of gong-chime ensemble found only in Sunda, the mountainous region of West Java. For the Sundanese, gamelan degung is an important expression of their cultural identity, quite different from the gamelan traditions of Java and Bali (which are perhaps better known overseas).