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Gamelan Jegog

I’ve always been fascinated to perceive how music travels, adapts and re- invents itself across cultures and genres.
The way through which traditional music has influenced concert music has always attracted my attention and percussion instruments have been protagonists in this interaction.

Ever since I got to know the Gamelan music of Indonesia many years ago, my curiosity has grown stronger towards this particular art form. 

A very unique type of Gamelan music in Bali is played, not with brass instruments (gongs and metallophones), which are more commonly known, but with bamboo instruments: the Gamelan Jegog..
 

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A Gamelan Jegog comprises six different types of keyboards, from very small to extremely large bamboo rods. I first heard these instruments about 35 years ago.
 

In 1997, during Tambuco Percussion Ensemble first tour in Japan, I had the chance to see and play a gamelan Jegog at the Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments and years later, on a subsequent tour, I met the wonderful Jegog ensemble "Sekar Sakura", based in Nagoya, Japan. That is when I started to become directly involved with this fascinating musical language.

Maki Takafuji, director of the gamelan, encouraged me to write a piece for our ensembles: Tambuco and Sekar Sakura.
 

That was the birth of Café Jegog, a piece that shows my interest and fascination for the encounter of several musical idioms.

Ricardo Gallardo with Mr. I Ketut Suwentra, Bali’s great gamelan jegog master. His Knowledge and enthusiasm were crucial towards the promotion, teaching and preservation of gamelan jegog in Bali and abroad.


Bali, 2016

Both the premiere of the piece as well as it’s recording for the Japanese label “Meister Music” were two very successful events. The Recording was chosen to be one of the best albums by Record Jeijetsu, the main classical review magazine in Japan, and this success led to the invitation for Tambuco and Sekar Sakura to perform Café Jegog at the Bali Festival, in Indonesia.

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That was the start of an ongoing collaboration with Sekar Sakura which is still very active to the present day.
The premiere of Café Jegog took place at the Nagakute Cultural Center, in Japan.


A couple of years after the premiere of Café Jegog, I wrote a second piece for this gamelan. The piece is called Rennaisance Jegog Dances.

Listen Café Jegog

Listen Renaissance Jegog Dances

VIDEOS

Café Jegog, for gamelan jegog and percussion quartet Written by Ricardo Gallardo, this piece features the powerful sonority of the gamelan jegog, a Balinese orchestra of instruments made with bamboo rods of different sizes. Tambuco Percussion Ensemble Gamelan Sekar Sakura Recorded live at the Nagakute Cultural Center, Japan.

Rehearsal of Ricardo Gallardo's Café Jegog, for gamelan Jegog and percussion quartet. Performed by Gamelan Sekar Sakura (Nagoya) and Tambuco Percussion Ensemble. Gamelan Jegog is originally from Bali, Indonesia, and consists of a set of instruments made entirely with bamboo tubes of different sizes and ranges, spanning 7 octaves from the lowest to the highest.

Gallery

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