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The Sound of Shadows: Sugar Coated


The Sound of Shadows: Sugar Coated

  • Date: Friday, 14 December 2018, 7:30pm - 9pm
  • Venue: Melbourne Recital Centre, Primrose Potter Salon — Cnr Southbank Blvd & Sturt St, Southbank, VIC
  • Tickets: Standard: $39 | Concession: $29 (booking fees apply) — Tickets can be purchased online or by phone on (03) 9699 3333

Event Details

More than lip service in musical feast—Endangered instruments revived as concert serves up fresh dialogue ‘Rare’ and ‘endangered’ are terms usually associated with animals and plants… but they can also be applied to three unique Indonesian musical instruments—the Bundengan from Central Java and the Rantok, and Gule Gending from Lombok. These instruments are barely heard and played outside of their home regions, much less anywhere else in the world. But now, thanks to the work of musician and composer Bianca Gannon, they’re the centrepiece of an immersive, multicultural concert to be held at the Recital Centre in Melbourne on Friday 14 December.

The Sound of Shadows: Sugar Coated will feature three fascinating Indonesian instruments whose primary purpose is not to make music but relates to ancient and contemporary practices of animal husbandry and food production. The Bundengan is a duck herder’s rain shield as well as a zither, the Rantok is a large hand-carved timber vessel traditionally used to hull rice through polyrhythmic pounding/drumming and also as a drum to be played by multiple drummers, while the Gule Gending is a set of steel pans used by fairy floss street vendors that are also played in a melodic and rhythmic way similar to gamelan music, with a timbre similar to West Indian steelpan drums. The few remaining original Rantok are highly sought-after by art collectors and decorators. Because they are made from rare timbers and other materials, and require a craftsman to build, new ones are not often being made, but due to the dedication of artists such as Gannon, these working-class instruments have been revived to be shared with new audiences.

The instruments will be performed by talented musician Gannon and Indonesian musician, Luqmanul ‘Luk’ Chakim while the concert will also feature Sindhen (Javanese court style of vocals) by internationally acclaimed Indonesian opera singer, Peni Candra Rini. The musicians’ work will be intensified by shadow puppetry with video art by Robert Jarvis and Jean Poole. The concerts places these endangered Indonesian instruments amid the context of social, political and environmental costs associated with the Indonesian food industry. Contrasting the universal joy of food with the often destructive farm-to-table narrative, artistic director Gannon presents these instruments and their musical traditions in a modern context, asking us what is the bittersweet impact of food production on global societies?

Gannon—who was born in Canada and raised in Ireland—is a gifted young musician, composer and artistic director who collaborates with visual artists to create entrancing multi-sensory experiences that present complex art in an accessible way. Critics describe her as a musical ‘explorer’ who defies genre and smashes barriers between traditional music and contemporary composition. She will be donating 50% of the proceeds from this concert to charity* to aid Lombok Earthquake Relief (a series of earthquakes in August killed hundreds of people and levelled tens of thousands of homes, mosques and businesses).

The Sound of Shadows: Sugar Coated is assisted by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria and is presented in conjunction with Multicultural Arts Victoria and Mapping Melbourne.

Further information for this event is available online at the event's website or by phone on (03) 9699 3333

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 The Sound of Shadows: Sugar Coated by Bianca Gannon

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