Gathering of the Gamelans

Gamelan Sekar Petak’s 30th Anniversary International Symposium


All-night wayang kulitLokananta, the Gamelan of the Gods

Date:    Symposium 26-29th April 2012, Department of Music, University of York 
             Wayang Lokananta 28th April 2012, 7pm – 3am, Roger Kirk Centre, University of York

Venue:  The University of York Music Department


26-29th April, Department of Music

NB. The registration deadline has been specially extended until 22 April

We are pleased to announce a grand gathering of gamelan players from the UK and beyond for four days of workshops, seminars, discussions, performances, and an all-night wayang kulit (shadow puppet play).  The event celebrates 30 years since Gamelan Sekar Petak, the UK’s first complete Javanese gamelan in a British educational institution, came to York.

With a varied programme of workshops, discussions and presentations, we hope the symposium will be of interest to anyone who plays, teaches and composes for gamelan, offering a chance to develop skills in performance, composition and pedagogy.

We will be joined by Guest of Honour, Bapak A.L. Suwardi, renowned performer, composer and innovator from Solo, Indonesia.

Wayang Lokananta

28th April, 7pm – 3am, Roger Kirk Centre

The Saturday night of the symposium will feature a brand new wayang kulit (shadow puppet play), free to the public, written and performed by dhalang (puppeteer) Matthew Cohen and based on the story of Lokananta, the mythological first gamelan, created by the gods:

How did music begin? With the clash of weapons and the roar of a war gong, songs sung in faux madness, and the melodies of a divine gamelan named Lokananta that plays music without musicians. An all-night wayang kulit play, never previously performed, weaving together myth, legend and folktales about music from the island of Java and the modern story of gamelan in Britain. 

Hot Indonesian meals will be available until 9pm and snacks available until late.  The bar will be open until 2am.

Children under 16 are welcome to attend the first part of the evening, but due to licensing laws will have to leave at 9:45pm. 16 – 17 year olds who bring valid photo ID and are accompanied by a responsible adult may stay later.

Those registered for Saturday of the Symposium will receive a ticket with their delegate pack. If you are not registering for the Symposium, please book your free ticket from:


The draft schedule below may be subject to change. All workshops apart from classical dance require some prior experience.


10:00 - 10:45
Registration and coffee
10:45 - 11:30
Paper/demonstration: Searching for an approach to gamelan and electronic music - Charles Matthews
11:30 - 13:00
Paper/workshop or performance: Exploring sound worlds – 18th century stone lithophane of Keswick and present day Javanese gamelan performance in Cumbria – Sarah Kekus & Chris Stones
13:00 - 14:30
Performance: Lunch and informal performance of experimental new works - Charles Matthews & Charlotte Pugh
14:30 - 16:00
Discussion panel: Composing for Western instruments and gamelan
16:00 - 16:30
Tea and coffee
16:30 - 18:00
Masterclass: Karawitan (classical Javanese music) – Bapak Aloysius Suwardi
18:00 - 19:00
19:00 - 20:00
Workshop: Classical dance – Ni Made Pujawati


10:00 - 10:30
Tea and coffee
10:30 - 11:15
Paper: Gamelan performance outside Indonesia "Setting Sail": The case of Babar Layar - Maria Mendonça
11:15 - 11:30
Tea and coffee
11:30 - 13:00
Paper: “The Song of the Gong”: teaching Javanese gamelan to the early-years with reference to Kodály, Dalcroze & Alexander - Nikhil Dally
13:00 - 14:30
Lunch and concert of contemporary gadhon (soft instrument) music  - Rob Campion
14:30 - 16:00
Joint paper session: teaching gamelan in schools and universities
Introducing gamelan in schools - Ruth Andrews
Employing gamelan to reach pupils who do not readily engage in school music  -Andy Gleadhill
Notate? Rotate? Questions and issues in teaching gamelan in an educational setting - Aline Scott-Maxwell
Followed by discussion panel on gamelan education in schools and universities.
16:00 - 16:30
16:30 - 18:00
Workshop: Gamelan improvisation – Charlotte Pugh
18:00 - 19:00
Performance : Classical Javanese concert with Siswa Sukra


10:30 - 11:15
Paper: Best practice in teaching gamelan with special needs groups: techniques and outcomes – Helen Loth
11:15 - 11:30
11:30 - 13:00
Workshop: Gerongan (vocal) techniques – Jonathan Roberts
13:00 - 14:00
14:00 – 17:00
Rehearsals for Wayang Lokananta

Open space – everything you ever wanted to know about gamelan but never dared ask. Networking session where participants can team up to jam, swap instrumental knowhow, share teaching tips or just relax and prepare for the all-night performance.
18:00 – 19:00
19:00 – 03:00
Performance: Wayang Lokananta


12:00 - 13:00
13:00 - 14:00
Masterclass: Dance with contemporary gamelan composition - Clive Wilkinson and students from Northern School of Contemporary Dance
14:00 - 16:00
Paper, workshop, discussion: Good Vibrations: Gamelan in Prisons – Cathy Eastburn and Good Vibrations team.
16:00 - 16:30
Tea and coffee
16:30 - 18:00
Workshop: Jogjanese-style gendhing soran (loud instruments) - Aris Daryono
18:00 – 19:30
19:30 – 00:00
Open klenengan – free-for-all performance/ jam session for die-hard gamelan geeks who don’t have to go to work on Monday.
Gamelan Sekar Petak’s 30th Anniversary!


Thanks to a generous subsidy from the Indonesian Embassy, we have been able to reduce delegate costs and make the Saturday free.

  • 1 day, full price: £25
  • 1 day, concession: £20

In order to keep delegate fees as affordable as possible, we unfortunately cannot offer free entry to those leading sessions. Delegate fees include lunch plus morning and afternoon refreshments.


Registration has been extended until 22 April – please use the online store to register as soon as possible for every day you are coming, including the Saturday which is free.


The symposium will be held in the Department of Music, Heslington Campus. This is at the north-western end of the campus (see Sir Jack Lyons Concerts Hall on this campus map). If you are arriving by bus no 4 or 44 from the train station, get off at the Wentworth Roundabout stop (this is the first of the university bus stops if you are coming from town/the train station).

Getting to the University of York:

Getting to the Department of Music:

Getting to the Roger Kirk Centre (near James College):


Details of accommodation on campus can be found here:

Accommodation in York:


Please send all enquiries to Ginevra House