It was a very cooling evening when I reached the faculty of the arts and social science in NUS, with no difficulty, I was able to find the gamelan room (which is surprising as I get lost easily) and I said hello to the friendly people in the group who were coincidentally having their break.
I then saw Mus, who looked genuinely surprised to see me (hehehe) and he showed me around and the different types of instruments. Many of them looked like xylophones. I was curious to see that there were different types of hammers used to hit the instruments – I noticed at least 4 different types. I’m sure that this effects the resonance and sound.
They group started their practice session and I find myself fascinated while listening to the hypnotic sounds as they hammered away happily on their gamelan. Sitting in the middle of the room, it was an experience to not only hear the sounds but to also feel the sound. This was something new to me!
The gamelan, in particular, the selemtem, which looked like a xylophone didnt looked too difficult to play. Mus explained that each panel was actually a number from 1 – 7 and you hit the panel according to the score. It was much easier to understand if compared to a piano.
It was so much fun! I was tempted to hammer the selemtem myself if not for the fact that I’d probably be disturbing the others.
Cant wait for the next session. Mus! Quick! When is the next one?
Here is a quick video :
- The Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble Blog
- Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble on facebook
- A concert the group will be performing in
Updated : Too funny! Eileen, a fellow pingster was there at the session but we didn’t recognize each other!