Music Composers Unite!
Bamboo grows everywhere in Asia, especially in East Asia. There are many kinds of bamboo, from the largest into the smallest shape, green bamboo, black bamboo, yellow bamboo. People have been close to bamboo since many centuries. Bamboo becomes a symbol of life for the people in many places and countries. There are some stories, myth and legend about bamboo. Here in Indonesia bamboo spikes is known as a symbol of struggling for freedom.
Bamboo has some advantageous and multifunctional for human being. It is strong, light and flexible. As a material is useful for supporting human needs, like: houses, tables, chairs, bed, house wares, bridges, weapons, music instruments and so on, even a young bamboo can be eaten by people.
Bamboo is really unique, mystery but simple, full of meaning and beneficial to human life. Sound of bamboo tree blow by the wind can confort people’s heart and spirit. Bamboo flute, angklung, gambang, their sounds are very natural. Bamboo offer and serve their life for us, but sometimes we don’t pay any attention even forgets them.
II. Bamboo Musical Instruments of Swaraning Pring Ensemble
There are many kinds of musical instrument made of bamboo. Bamboo wind musical instruments with different name and shape: flute/suling, sarunai, saluang (West Sumatra), shakuhachi (Japan), bamboo trumpet (North Sulawesi). Bamboo percussion: jegog (Bali), calung, angklung (West Java), gambang, kentongan, calung renteng (East Java), and so on. In many parts of the world where the bamboo lives, there are musical instrument made of bamboo.
It has been for a long time I wish to compose music for bamboo musical instruments which are designed and made by myself. On some occasion I have already done, but use the simple one. With Bamboo Music Ensemble Swaraning Pring, I have to realize it. I made all of the bamboo musical instruments by myself except suling and angklung.
As in the process of designing and making these instruments, I have got some references about bamboo musical instruments from Indonesia and another countries and I studied about the alternative sounds of bamboo. The main problem was how to get the most appropriate bamboo with good sound, because there are hundreds kind of bamboo.
From my observation and exploration I think many of musical instruments can be made of bamboo, such as flute (this musical instrument is found everywhere in many countries), percussion (this musical instrument has already existed), stringed instrument that can be hit and bowed (this musical instrument may not already existed), and many other of the musical instruments that can made of bamboo.
III. Swaraning Pring (Bamboo) Ensemble
Swaraning Pring (Bamboo) Ensemble is a music ensemble which uses the musical instruments all made of bamboo designed and created by myself.
The composition of my works for Swaraning Pring Bamboo Ensemble has main ideas: how to use all of the sound of bamboo maximally and how to make a unique and interesting music ensemble with originally technical play.
As a composer of Swaraning Pring Bamboo Ensemble, I am not only composing of my works but also create my own technical playing with two hands percussion technique, because almost of all my musical instruments are percussion.
This technique applicable for play all kind of music style: contemporary, pop, jazz, folk and traditional music, arrangement of Indonesian folksong and the others.
With this Swaraning Pring Bamboo Ensemble I realized all of my musical idea on various style, composition or arrangement in a unique and interesting music ensemble.