Beat the Gamelan as the Beginning of the 2018 International Gamelan Festival

698 – For eight days, August 9-16, Solo will host the 2018 International Gamelan Festival. On Thursday (08/09/2018) afternoon, this event will hold a Soft Opening at Sriwedari Plaza.

Mayor of Solo, F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo; and Director General of Culture, Hilmar Farid opened the Soft Opening by beating kendang and kenong together.

After the ceremony, 73 groups that had lined up along the Sriwedari citywalk until Vastenburg Fortress began beating the gamelan. Some of them are theatrical gamelan which is a collaboration of students of Surakarta Middle School 4 and Kemlaka Solo. Kemlaka is a musical group from Solo that combines traditional instruments with modern musical instruments.



Then there are also little pengrawit from Muhammadiyah 1 Ketelan Surakarta Elementary School. The elementary students consisting of grades 3-6 were very excited to play the gamelan.

In the Soft Opening, all groups play the same gending at the same time. One composer, Gondrong Gunarto, said that this Soft Opening was a spectacular event. “This will be a spectacular gamelan festival due to the accompaniment of the gamelan tunes along the citywalk Jl. Slamet Riyadi, “he said.

Rudy said, as a step to preserve the gamelan, the Solo City Government would provide a set of slendro and pelog gamelan to all kelurahan in Bengawan City and also some schools. “Gamelan is a noble work of ancestral culture that must be preserved,” he explained when giving a speech.

The Opening of the 2018 International Gamelan Festival Concert with the theme “Homecoming” was held in the evening at Vastenburg Fortress Solo. Three composers: Rahayu Supanggah (Solo), I Wayan Gde Yudane (Bali), and Taufik Adam (Jakarta), will enliven. There were also performances by the gamelan group Southbank Gamelan Players (UK) and Kua Etnika.

The 2018 series of International Gamelan Festival events will be held in several other places in Solo City, such as Fort Vastenburg, ISI Surakarta, Central Java Cultural Park, City Hall, Balai Soedjatmoko, and many more.