What I’m very quickly learning is that the people I’m surrounded by are about connection and togetherness whether that be in food or music. The first workshop of the programme, with Svara Samsara, demonstrated this beautifully.
Svara Samsara are primarily a percussion group comprising of five players who also play traditional Indonesian instruments such as the Rindik (a Balinese instrument) and the Saluan (a flute from Bandung). They combine traditional rhythms and instruments from various parts of Indonesia and play them in interlocking rhythms which change more quickly than I can comprehend. They are not songwriters but composers who have studied traditional music and the result is incredible!
The workshop began with an introduction to some of their work and I was completely blown away (which is evident in my expression in the short video below). They are artists in residence at a studio called Rumah Kahanan which oozes creative energy and is a haven among the busy streets of Depok. The studio belonged to the late great Inis Isri and it is his work that inspired Svara Samsara to do what they do and they do it very well.
I learned some new rhythms on the Kendeng - traditional Indonesian drum comprising of three drums - an instrument that I’m learning a lot about from Kunokini and I’ll keep you posted on those but for now I must go practice, I’ve let my circular breathing slip!