The Third Annual Summer Workshop in the Rich Classical Percussion Music of Central Java, Known as Gamelan

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VI, no. 5, p. 13, May/June 1995:

Gamelan(s) are ensembles of mostly percussion and are of varying size, made up of instruments like the bronze gongs, candles, thick keyed metal and wooden bars, drums, stringed instruments, voices, flutes, and zithers. This workshop will be focused on the traditional music of Central Java. A dominant feature of Javanese music is the complex layering of rhythmic patterns, fused with a highly evolved system of pitches, improvisation and performance rules for each instrument creating a music of infinite depth and shimmering beauty. This is a hands-on workshop and participants will be learning and playing the instruments of Kyai Madu Sari (The Venerable Essence of Honey), a complete court style gamelan from Central Java.

This year we are fortunate to have as master teacher A.L. Suwardi, from Solo Java. Suwardi is one of the most respected performers and creators of new and traditional Javanese gamelan music, and is an expert of all the instruments of the gamelan. He will be assisted by Sutrisno Hartana, a Javanese musician/dancer who is living and teaching in Vancouver.

This workshop is open to all who are interested. Classes will be held in the evenings from 4:30 to 10:00 pm with a 40-minute communal dinner break. The workshop also includes videos, private instruction, lecture demonstrations, source readings on social/cultural history, theory and technique, a complete instructional listening archive, and musical notation.