Practice, practice, practice and the first workshop/performance
After the workshop with Svara Samsara it’s safe to say that I was suitably inspired to practice. There was one thing stopping me however, the fact that my guitar had been broken on the plane. I was searching for a luthier nearby but many were still off on holidays after Ramadan so I tried to express myself on the gambang (somewhat like a bamboo xylophone) and the kendeng instead. Given that I’m only beginning to learn about interlocking rhythms (something that Kunokini is very good at) I was really frustrated with myself. Mas Bhismo let me borrow his guitar for rehearsal with Andre Dinuth in preparation for our workshops and performances in the coming week and we were off!
We, Kunokini, She Makes War and Andre Dinuth, collaborated on a progression of Andre’s that lasted long into the night and a good thing too because it was our only rehearsal before the workshop/performance. Andre was kind enough to lend my one of his guitars for the gig.
The first workshop/performance comprised of Kunokini opening the set with a performance and then a workshop on the various instruments that they use, how they use them and how this is different from the traditional way of using these instruments.
In short their setup is: kendeng, sampelong, saluang, taganing, a drum kit designed by Mas Bhismo himself using different sizes of rembana complete with cymbals and called Sokoguro (meaning pillar), talempong, gambang - da, C, me, D, na, E, ti, F, la, G, da, C.
Andre then performed two pieces and did a workshop on his style of playing which is influenced by classical music. This was followed by a performance from Laura Kidd of She Makes War who uses a loop pedal to create songs. She broke down her method of using loops for vocals and guitar - an extremely effective technique. This was also followed by a question and answer session in which the crowd asked about Laura’s influences and career.
I opened my performance with a new song about my experiences in Palestine entitled ‘What would you do?’ which is a call to action asking people what they can do to make positive change. This opened the floor to a variety of in depth questions about Palestine and my experience there - a first for me since returning from the Middle East in September 2016. (If you’d like to find out more about this please send me an email).
We closed the workshop/performance with a collaboration between all of us which is all captured on video so you can watch it in the coming weeks.
For now, I must practice!