28 - 30 july 2021

Nanyang academy of fine arts

Presentation (Live)

Day 1Wednesday 28 July 2021, 14:10

A Creative Journey with Gamelan

De Silva Alicia Joyce

The music teaching programme has a year long gamelan programme allowing students to experience playing and learning about the monumental culture of Southeast Asia which has helped shaped the music of the contemporary Western world for almost a century now. So itis fitting that the students learn about these instruments and to play them, cultivating musicianship and cultural awareness. Together with that, the students also get to be part of an academy wide project that draws on various SEA cultures/monuments/history as a stimulus for creating their own compositions. During the process, the students were all encouraged to be free in their explorations and processes of creating their compositions, and not to be encumbered by theoretical knowledge. This resulted in three short pieces that explore unconventional forms for the gamelan, and also included the use of the piccolo and erhu to extend the unique sound world of the gamelan. These three pieces (Ratcha Arnachak, Shape of Life, and Songkran in Three) will be presented alongside two Javanese Gamelan classics, Ladrang Gunungsari and Bubaran Udan Mas. The former a piece that is often played to accompany the masked dance from the Panji stories, and the latter a piece commonly played to mark the end of the performance. This programme will serve to accentuate the difference between the compositions (contemporary) and traditional pieces, as well as to highlight traditional elements that are occasionally prevalent in the compositions by the students, something that was emphasised when the students explored more traditional repertoire. This programme will feature a group of 9 students performing alongside their lecturer. The student performers are : Lee Shu Wei, Low Wan Wen Clara, Ong Yu Ler Yvette, Selina Chong Xinhe, Yam Yu Han Jovanna, Freda Lee Ting, Frois Natania Gabrielle, Yep Zhe Qi Joey, Putri Damarwati Endah.

Alicia's interest in the cultures of Southeast Asia has led her to spend years learning various instruments from these cultures. This has also resulted in frequent multi/inter-disciplinary collaborations that aims to create new experiences and perspectives towards the arts for both the artists and the audience through multi-sensory performances.