Music4U, in partnership with Hull Music Service and the Hull Music Hub, is continuing to support access for young people living in challenging circumstances to communal music-making experiences through hands-on opportunities to play the Javanese gamelan. Gamelan is one of the traditional musical styles of Indonesia, predominantly found on the islands of Java and Bali. A gamelan ensemble is largely made up of bronze percussion instruments (metallaphones and gongs), which are struck with mallets, although there are also a number of hand drums, wind and string instruments that can be added to the ensemble. Building on the success of the previous years' Exploring Gamelan and Colours of Music projects, the Rise of the Sea Dragon will develop the use of Hull's Gamelan Kyai Sri Jaladri Naga (which translates as the Honorific Sea Dragon, in reference to Hull's maritime connections!)
Rise of the Sea Dragon is a project with two key strands. It focuses on the training of local music practitioners, through a CPD programme, designed to equip members of this workforce with the necessary skills and experience to continue developing gamelan delivery in Hull in future. This CPD project will involve practical training sessions with Emily Crossland (director of Leeds' Golden Thread Gamelan and performer with York's Gamelan Sekar Petak) and members of London's Southbank Gamelan Players. The CPD strand also links to the second, workshop-focused strand, in which young people from the local community will be invited to take part in practical learning and playing sessions, led by gamelan experts and trainees. Experienced gamelan practitioners will gradually pass leadership over to the trainees and will provide opportunities for them to reflect on and share their practice.
Our four gamelan trainees are percussionist Gary Hammond, community artist and musician Charles Huckvale, community musician and performer Donna Smith, and composer/cellist and artistic collaborator Ellen Jordan.
Pictures from the initial training sessions can be seen here: