Gamelan concert at the AGNSW

Langen Suka has been invited to give a concert at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 13 April. The performance will be presented as part of the gallery’s Art after Hours program which opens its doors to the public on Wednesday evenings including a host of free events such as talks, films and music. Langen Suka’s concert will take place in association with the 20th Biennale of Sydney (18 March to 5 June) during which the AGNSW has been transformed into the “Embassy of Spirits” exhibiting work by Asian and Australian Indigenous artists exploring the intersections between the spiritual and the philosophical. The performance will follow a conversation from 6.30 to 7 pm between Dr Rachel Kohn, presenter of The Spirit of Things on ABC Radio National, and a guest speaker.

Performance details:

  • Date and time
    13 April 2016, 7.30 to 8.30 pm
  • Venue
    Entrance court, Art Gallery of New South Wales
  • Admission

Javanese gongs at the Sydney Opera House and Carriageworks

The Sydney Symphony recently borrowed a gong ageng and two gong suwukan from Langen Suka’s gamelan sets for use in several performances  of 20th-century works at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall on 9, 11 and 12 March and at Carriageworks on 13 March.

Mark Robinson, Assistant Principal Timpanist/Tutti Percussionist of the Sydney Symphony, contacted Langen Suka in early March desperately searching for gongs required in two seminal French works of the late 20th century: Oliver Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles… (1971–74, “From the canyons to the stars…”) and Gérard Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (1997–98, “Four songs for crossing the threshold”). While Javanese gongs are not specified for these works, the Sydney Symphony percussionists’ set of Thai gongs did not extend low enough for the pitch requirements. Fortunately the Javanese gong ageng from the Indonesian Consulate General’s pelog set and the two gong suwukan from the Australian Museum’s slendro set fitted the bill and were borrowed for the performances. Mark Robinson kindly shared two images of the gongs amidst the extensive set-up for Grisey’s Quatre chants at Carriageworks below.