Saturday, February 10, 2007


LOBONG. Wow, it must be tough to review this Gending because so many recording versions are available.

Let’s start with the first one from Gamelan Nyai Saraswati. The Gending is played in two tuning systems. It begins in slendro manyuro and then switch to pelog nyamat after two gerongans were sung. To my knowledge, there is not many Gending played in two scales. So, this one is good to be listened to know how changing tune will affect melody.
Another thing, I would like to mentioned is about gambangan in early section before gerongan sing. Not as I heard in many pieces, gambangan in this section -in my view- dominates melody. it’s no longer just elaborating role. Interesting, isn’t it.

Gending Lobong minggah Kinanti Molak Malik, slm, plny, 12:38
Artist: Gamelan Nyai Saraswati



There are three Gending Gambir Sawit I had been listening. The first one is from Riris Raras, the second is from Gamelan Nyai Saraswati and the last one is from Karawitan Ngesti Budhojo.

On Nyai Saraswati version, Suling accompanies Rebab and Gambang playing pathetan that set feeling before Gending begin. I like this Gending in a way it plays bonangan. Bonang has become dominating elaborating instrument in this piece as oppose to Riris Raras version. In ciblonan (Javanese term for sound you heared when you play your hand on top of water) , bonang player plays interlocking and intermittent style, ornamenting the Gending.

Gambang cengkok in Nyai version seems tend to complement bonangan while on Riris Raras version more independent. But, sure, both versions are played beautifully.

On Riris Raras , the bawa - solo male vocal - at the beginning of gending is stronger and "manteb".

On Karawitan Ngesti Budhojo, I heard siteran more elaborating the Gending then Gambang.

Gambir Sawit, bawa Rarabentrok, sl9, 29:57
Artist: Riris Raras Irama (Ciptowarso).
Pesiden: Tantinah, Ngatirah, Supadmi
Album: Gending Mat Matan, Kusuma KGD271

Gendhing Gambirsawit kethuk 2 kerep, minggah kethuk 4, kalajengaken Ladrang Gonjang-Ganjing, Ketawang Subakastawa, sl9
Artist: Gamelan Nyai Saraswati.

Bawa Sekar Agend Rara Bentrok dening sederk Sutono, dawah Gendhing Gambir Sawit djangkep sl9
Artist: Karawitan NGESTI BUDHOJO, pimpinan Ki Tjondro Lukito
Pesinden: Nyi Tjondrolukito, Nyi Retno Dewati
Album: Gambir Sawit, Cassette , SCC-026

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Bawa Candra Kusumo dawah Pangkur Pamijen mawi jenggleng, Sl9. 29:19

If I have to choose Gending that I like most then definitely this will be one of it.

The Bawa is very nice, sound heavy, solid and clear. First listener would be able to catch and follow "singing" bawa as the sound is very clear and its recording is excellent.

Sindenan is played together with gerongan (many times) beautifully. Every time I listen sinden and gerong sing together, I imagine it is like hearing Luciano Pavarotti "sing" with his Tenors colleague. Sure, Pavaroti may have higher octave but gerongan and sindenan sing together is just melodically wonderful.

I hear siter plays solo, now - I am listening the Gending while writing-. It will be continued with another niyaga play solo, slentheman, gambangan and rebaban. Yes, this is very special. Not many if not only a few, a Gending has soloist plays instrument one after the others. Now I imagine like hearing Dizzy Gillespie plays his special trumpet followed by the other soloist one after the other. Yes, I am hearing Bebop style in the Gending. WOW, this must be a breakthrough for gamelan composer, a very special thing.

Gambang. If you like gambangan, this piece is must to hear.

Hmm, I come to closing pathetan.
The Pangkur is complete, has everything, Bawa, Sindhenan. Gerongan, orchestra, solo, jenggleng, opening and closing pathetan. Try to listen to it, you'll get more bang for the buck.

Pangkur Pamijen, bawa Candrakusumo mawi Jenggleng, sl9, 29:19
Artist: Riris Raras Irama (Ciptowarso).
Album: Pangkur Pamijen KGD018