Naga Mas is a community group open to anyone interested in gamelan music and associated artforms. The group was was established in 1993, shortly after the arrival of the ‘Spirit of Hope’ instruments in the city. Twenty-seven years later we are still going strong!
We meet weekly on a Thursday evening at Commonwheel’s premises in the grounds of Gartnaval Hospital, where the pelog instruments are currently housed. If you’re interested in learning to play gamelan, please get in touch: we run six-week beginners workshops several times a year.
Our work falls in to three areas. In performing the traditional music of Central Java, the group have in recent years benefitted from regular residencies by master musician Prasadiyanto, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
In education and outreach, we regularly offers workshops for beginners and partners with other organisations to facilitate musical work with a wide range of interest groups.
Our third great passion is creating and performing contemporary music for gamelan. As well as dozens of original compositions by members of the group, Naga Mas have created two full-length performances combining original music and live video, ‘Gamelan Untethered’ (2014) and ‘Sedna, the Woman under the Sea’ (2015).
Our most recent adventure has been exploring the practice of collaborative ‘livecoding’ – improvising gamelan-inspired music and visuals in a collaborative website.