Melbourne audiences will have the chance to hear remarkable fresh musical compositions featuring three rarely heard Indonesian instruments.
Even in their home regions these instruments are hardly ever heard or played, let alone anywhere else in the world.
Musician and composer Bianca Gannon will try to revive interest in them with her “Sound of Shadows” concert at the Recital Centre in Melbourne on Friday 14 December. She will be donating 50% of the proceeds from this concert to aid Lombok Earthquake Relief.
The three featured instruments were not only designed to make music, but are related to ancient and contemporary practices of animal husbandry and food production.
The Bundengan is a stringed instrument like a lute or guitar, which serves as a duck herder’s rain shield.
The Rantok is a large hand-carved timber vessel used to hull rice through rhythmic pounding, so it is also used as a drum played by multiple drummers. Because they are made from rare timbers and other materials, and require a craftsman to build, new ones are not often made, and are highly sought-after by collectors.
The Gule Gending, another percussion instrument, is a set of steel pans used by fairy floss street vendors. They can be played in a melodic and rhythmic way similar to Indonesia’s traditional gamelan music.
The instruments will be performed by Ms Gannon and Indonesian musician Luqmanul “Luk” Chakim. The concert will also feature Sindhen (Javanese court style of vocals) by Indonesian opera singer Peni Candra Rini.
The musicians’ work will be intensified by shadow puppetry with video art by Robert Jarvis and Jean Poole.
For information and bookings, go to www.melbournerecital.com.au/events/2018/the-sound-of-shadows-sugar-coated.