Gamelan music has been taught and played at Victoria University (and later the NZ School of Music) since the mid 70s, when lecturer Allan Thomas purchased a set of gamelan instruments on the Indonesian island of Java. This magazine piece from arts show 10AM showcases Victoria’s gamelan orchestra in action. Thomas and fellow lecturer Jack Body provide eloquent testimony to the popularity of this age-old music, and the access point it offers into Asian culture for New Zealanders. Body also provides his own spin on a gamelan composition.
Gamelan is simply a part of the culture. It's part of the air that you breathe, the sound environment. It's used for ceremony, it's used to accompany puppet shows for instance, and it's used for dance.– Victoria University music lecturer Jack Body
Made with funding from NZ On Air
Features excerpts from Jack Body composition 'So Short the Life'