Gamelan: Automatic + Augmented

This weekend sees the debut of a new project instigated by Charles Matthews, also known as Seed Records’ own Ardisson.  Charles has been somewhat quiet on the electronic music front for the last few years as he has been studying Central Javanese gamelan and working on a performance/composition system as part of a PhD in sound art.  This project is features some of the first output of these activities.

Called the Augmented Gamelan, the group comprises musicians on a handful of gendér-type instruments often found accompanying vocals and shadow puppet theatre, playing arrangements of traditional pieces and sung poetry called macapat.  Live electronic parts generated by bespoke software weave around the instruments and vocals, ranging from subtle beating tones to complex rhythms and textures produced by transducers attached to the instruments themselves, turning them into resonant metal speakers.

All the musicians involved in the development of this performance are also members of the Southbank gamelan players, a group active in performance of traditional and contemporary gamelan music that recently toured the UK as part of collaboration with electronic group Plaid and the Javanese composer Rahayu Supanggah.
The performance will take place at the Union Chapel in London as part of their Daylight Music series, this Saturday 30th of June.  The event is free and runs from 12 noon until 2pm.  Other artists appearing are Dan Amor and The Sea & I.

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