Wells Music Academy
VJG Virtual Javanese Gamelan
How would you like a complete Javanese Gamelan on your mobile device? Well now you can with the VJG.
The VJG features all of the instruments that form Gamelan Sumber Laras (Wellspring of Harmony) at Wells Cathedral School, the foremost international Specialist Music School based in the South West of the United Kingdom.
Sumber Laras is an iron gamelan from Java, and has been in constant use by students and community groups since it was purchased decades ago. Now we'd like to share it with everyone.
The gamelan, or Indonesian Orchestra, is an ensemble of tuned percussion instruments consisting of pots, gongs, metallophones (similar to glockenspiels) and drums.
Gamelans are used in Indonesia to accompany traditional court and temple dances, puppet and shadow plays. It is thought that one of the first Westerners to hear a gamelan was Sir Francis Drake in 1580. Since then they have inspired many composers from Debussy to Steve Reich and there is now a thriving interest around the world in this music which lends itself to people of all levels of musical ability and experience.
This app is based on an award winning piece of software, also entitled the Virtual Javanese Gamelan, and also available free of charge from the Wells Music Academy website. This would be an excellent primer for this mobile app.
In the mobile version users will be able to :
• Select any of the ten instruments that form Gamelan Sumber Laras and play them with their mobile device.
• Have a near as possible authentic playing experience, as touch screen devices lend themselves to percussion instruments, and features such as 'note damping' are included.
• Choose from a repertoire of 4 pieces, all of them Lancarans one of the most joyful forms of Indonesian Music.
• Read from cipher notation, following sequences of numbers
• Advance the notation with a flick of the wrist
• Play anytime, any place and anywhere, as a soloist, against backing tracks, or with friends in various combination.
• Form a touch screen device 'choir' and play a whole gamelan with 9 other players.
Design and Programming by Rik Green at: www.theMediaEngine.co.uk