Gamelan is a traditional musical ensemble from Indonesia featuring (a variety of) bronze percussion instruments. It is undoubtedly the most popular traditional music of Indonesia still played and enjoyed in many regions, particularly in Java and Bali. In recent years, interest in gamelan music has grown in Europe, the United States, and many Asian countries where it is studied and performed primarily at universities, and various gamelan-related activities are taking place worldwide.
Japan Gamelan Music Association
Today, gamelan is played and appreciated in every corner of the world. Japan Gamelan Music Association was established in order to introduce the beauty and joy of gamelan music to the wider public through various avenues. Our main activities include holding concerts, workshops, and international exchange programs, all aiming at promoting the understanding of and appreciation for gamelan music.
- Gamelan performances (with or without Indonesian dance)
- Wayang Kulit (Indonesian shadow puppet theater) performances
- Music appreciation classes at educational institutions
- Concerts at welfare facilities
- Gamelan workshops
- Collaborative projects with Indonesian artists
Gamelan Ensemble “WASABI”
In 2007, Japan Gamelan Music Association established a new gamelan group “WASABI”. Consisting of players of various gamelan traditions – Java, Sunda, Bali – as well as players of traditional Japanese instruments, “WASABI” hopes not only to play traditional pieces, but also to seek new possibilities in gamelan music by collaborating with music of different genre and by working in cooperation with Indonesian artists.
In August 2008, “WASABI”, at the invitation of The World Gamelan Music Festival in Kuala Terengganu, performed “PAWUKUN 08”, “Lancaran Sanshin”, both composed by Koichi Minagawa for gamelan and Japanese instruments (kokyu, sanshin, rin, mokugyo, hyoushigi), and an Okinawan folk song “Tinsagu nu Hana”, all of which were received favorably. At the festival, “WASABI” also joined gamelan players from Indonesia, Malaysia, and England in performing a jointly composed new piece. “WASABI” wishes to deliver its unique gamelan music with a touch of Japan to as many people as possible.