Siswå Sukrå is a community gamelan group of fifteen or more players, based at the Royal Festival Hall in London. The group has grown out of the Southbank Centre’s resident gamelan programme, which began in 1988. It is tutored by Pete Smith, one of the UK’s leading gamelan musicians and teachers.

Siswå Sukrå plays pieces from the central Javanese gamelan repertoire, both classical and modern, in moods ranging from solemn court ritual to exuberant village celebration. Its programmes are designed to introduce new audiences to a great musical culture that has fascinated composers and listeners from the West for over a century.

 

Click for an information booklet:
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Email address: info [at] siswasukra.co.uk

 

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A selection of videos

 

The Java trip

The group now wants to visit Indonesia: to meet Indonesian people, experience the culture, learn from Javanese gamelan musicians, and to perform. Although the members of Siswå Sukrå are experienced gamelan players, are passionate about the music and love learning about Javanese culture, most have never been to Indonesia. A few members of the group have studied in Java, and long to return. This trip will be a dream come true for everyone in Siswå Sukrå.

So far the group’s plans include

  • performing in the main pendhopo at ISI, the arts conservatoire in Solo where Pete and a few other members of Siswå Sukrå have studied in the past,
  • visiting and performing in some of the villages around Solo – at weddings, school assemblies and village festivals,
  • visiting the Mangkunegaran Palace in Solo to watch the dance rehearsals and other gamelan performances,
  • attending some of the local gamelan rehearsals in Solo,
  • performing at one of the royal palaces in either Solo or Jogja,
  • playing at an all-night wayang performance,
  • playing at the Taman Budaya (major arts venue) in Jogja,
  • playing at the monthly Balai Soedjatmoko in Solo (high profile klenèngan),
  • playing for broadcast on RRI Solo (national public radio station).

The planned timing is two weeks in August 2017.

The group is seeking sponsorship to help cover the costs of the trip, in particular their return flights.


Next performances

21 June, approx. 1.25 p.m., at Goldsmiths’, University of London, as part of Longplayer Day, related to Jem Finer’s Longplayer project.

13 July, Indonesian Embassy, London; private event.

23 July, Southbank Centre, London, as part of the Festival of Love.

 

… more in negotiation

 

Previous appearances

March 2017, Foyer Bar, Royal Festival Hall, London, klenèngan as part of the year-long Belief and Beyond Belief festival

July 2016, Festival Terrace, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of the Festival of Love

July 2016, Eltham Palace Gardens, London, as part of Greenwich World Cultural Festival

May 2016, Potters Fields Park, London, as part of Indonesian Weekend

December 2015: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of Gamelan Christmas Chimes

July 2015: Clapham Common, London

July 2015: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of the Gamelan Wedding Chimes event

July 2015: City of London Festival

December 2014: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of Gamelan Christmas Chimes

July 2014: Myatt’s Fields Park, Lambeth

December 2013: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of Gamelan Christmas Chimes

November 2013: private function

October 2013: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London, as part of the ‘Sharing Good Vibrations’ event 

July 2013: Clapham Common, London

July 2013: Gamelanathon at the Royal Festival Hall, London – (morning klenèngan and evening wayang kulit with Bu Suparsih)

December 2012: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London

July 2012: Myatt’s Fields Park, Lambeth

May 2012: Gong Festival at Durham and Gateshead

April 2012: Gathering of the Gamelans, University of York

March 2012: St Ethelburga’s Centre, London

December 2011: Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, London

July 2011: Myatt’s Fields Park, Lambeth

March 2011: St Ethelburga’s Centre, London

August 2010: Myatt’s Fields Park, Lambeth

 

 

 

Picture: Siswå Sukrå at Myatt’s Fields Park, Lambeth, in July 2011