Traditional and Contemporary Balinese Gamelan
Photo from Sang Lear (2014)
Along this gamelan journey, GA encountered the dynamic sounds of Bali. We were privileged to meet Balinese gamelan teachers who taught us a new style and repertoire of gamelan music from Bali. In the process, Gamelan SingaMurti (GSM) was formulated. This dynamic ensemble specialises in Balinese Gamelan music. The ensemble gave its debut performance in Nov 2008 during the annual “Reflections Festival” at the Theatre at The Republic Cultural Centre. SingaMurti has since been invited to present an original dance-drama, entitled “Clever Monkey Sebung” during the ACE! Festival 2009 (organised by I-Theatre Ltd) at the Alliance Francaise auditorium. At the end of 2009, the group organised a Cultural Field Trip to Bali for a group of St Joseph's Institute International students, who gained deeper understanding of Balinese Gamelan music through workshops, attending performances and participating in various cultural activities. Interest in Balinese gamelan music started to grow.
In 2009, GA decided to acquire a set of Semarandana Balinese gamelan instruments. Under creative direction of Ms Niky Lewis, GSM presented “Malam Di Bali”, both nights sold out, at the Recital Studio, Esplanade (April 2010); then, “Suara Bali” in 2011 at the Black Box, Drama Centre, and “Mebarongan” in 2012 at the Orchestra Hall, NUS-YSTC. The voice of Gamelan SingaMurti was heard, loud and clear.
In May 2013, under new creative direction from Ms Rosmainy Buang, the ensemble presented “Dualism : It Takes Two” at the Malay Heritage Centre. Then, a fusion gamelan performance with Balinese gamelan at the “International Gamelan Festival 2014” at the Panggung Krafts Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Jan 2014). In Sept 2014, we presented “Sang Lear – A Story of Power & Inner Struggles”, an original composition of Balinese style dance-drama, created by our Artistic Director, Ms Rosmainy Buang. The group is currently made up of community members from GA to students (from SJI-International school & Republic Polytechnic) with teachers and members of the Indonesian community.
GA's Gamelan SingaMurti has performed at various private functions, from hotels and restaurants to the sandy beaches of Sentosa.