A UCD Gamelan Reunion

4 Feb

uc davis gamelan
Another highlight of my California winter break, besides Point Reyes and the beautiful weather that’s causing a drought, was a reunion with some of the other longstanding members of the UC Davis Gamelan Ensemble.

It’s hard to explain how much this ensemble means to me. Our classroom was the closest thing I’ve ever known to a church, somewhere to find solace and calm. These songs and these people have helped me overcome some of the smallest and greatest challenges: from feeling confident performing for an audience and staying relaxed on a flight, to the hardest heartbreak and the loss of my mom.

“Jeruk Bali”

December was our last chance to play together before Adilla, the only original member left, who’s been in the class consecutively for over seven years, finishes her doctorate and goes back to Malaysia. She’s basically a gamelan pro, and she remembered all our old repertoire to reteach us how to play.

She even let me play the bonang on “Lutung Bingung,” arguably the coolest intro part we ever learned on the degung ensemble.

I hope the next reunion is in West Java!

uc davis gamelan
That’s all, folks!


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