Gamelan Aotearoa

‘...rhythmic intricacy, hypnotic patterns, sheer sonic power, and refreshingly different tunings...’ Experience gamelan at the National Library with Wellington's Gamelan Padhang Moncar, introduced by Dr Anton Killin.

What’s gamelan?

Gamelan is the traditional ensemble music of the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese peoples of Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments.

Gamelan first arrived in New Zealand in 1975 when Allan Thomas imported a set of instruments from Java to Victoria University of Wellington to support ethnomusicology teaching, with a performing ensemble soon being formed.

Gamelan Wellington — includes new compositions, information about Javanese music and teacher Budi Surasa Putra.

Soak in the sound of New Zealand compositions for gamelan

There are now ensembles based around the country. Composers who were subsequently inspired to write works for gamelan include David Farquhar, Judith Exley, Megan Collins and Lilburn Fellow Anton Killin, whose works feature in this concert, along with that of Dedek Wayhudi from Indonesia and others.

Join us to hear gamelan being played by Gamelan Padhang Moncar.

...rhythmic intricacy, hypnotic patterns, sheer sonic power, and refreshingly different tunings ... — Alan Wells

About the speaker

Dr Anton Killin is the Lilburn Research Fellow, 2021. His research will focus on cross-cultural music composition in New Zealand relating to the use of Indonesian gamelan. Gamelan has been a significant cultural influence on New Zealand composers since it was introduced.

Dr Killin studied music composition and philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington, with cross-cultural music being the focus of much of his research. Since being awarded his doctorate in 2017, he has held post-doctoral fellowships in Australia, USA, and Canada.

Dr Anton Killin — Lilburn Research Fellow, 2021

Gamelan Padhang Moncar is a group of New Zealand musicians dedicated to the study and performance of Javanese music and based at the New Zealand School of Music (Victoria University campus) in Wellington. They are directed by Budi S. Putra, and managed by Megan Collins. The group performs traditional repertoire from the courts and villages of central Java as well as contemporary works by New Zealand composers.

Gamelan Wellington
New Zealand School of Music
Megan Collins — Sumatran Sounds

Check before you come

Due to COVID-19 some of our events can be cancelled or postponed at very short notice. Please check the website for updated information about individual events before you come.

For more general information about National Library services and exhibitions have look at our COVID-19 page.

A group of people with xylophone style instruments in front of them. The people are holding their hands together.
Gamelan Padhang Moncar, 2021. Budi Putra, director. Photo by Anton Killin.