It has been well proved that gambang art has uniqueness. Unfortunately, it has high level of difficulty when playing this kind of classical gamelan set, so that many young people are reluctant to involve deeply in playing it. “On seeing this phenomenon, I think it necessary to contribute my ideas through a book,” said Wayan Sinti in the sidelines of a book review entitled Gambang Cikal Bakal Karawitan Bali (Gambang as Genesis of Balinese Gamelan) in the Denpasar Art Center, recently.
According to this composer, the lack of Balinese people who wanted to play the gambang gamelan music encouraged him to write about this classical gamelan. Based on his observations over the years, the gambang gamelan had not got attention for more than two generations. “Younger generation is more interested in the art easier to play like gong kebyar or bleganjur than gambang,” he said.
Sinti also touched when he read the book entitled Music in Bali by Colin McPhee describing that from the 1930s it was very difficult to get people who wanted to sing in association with the gambang gamelan music. “Having read the book, I have been inspired to revive the gambang gamelan since 1974,” said.
After passing through a long process, said a former teacher of the Balinese gamelan conservatory (Kokar), in 2002 he managed to combine the gambang gamelan music with the Malat text. “Hopefully, this discovery or the book writing will at least encourage the art troupes to be more interested and get feedback as described in this book,” hoped the artist who frequently traveled overseas.
Sinti also added that the ballad of gambang gamelan music was unique enough so that many people played it in different gamelan format such as slonding, gong luang, charuk, saron, pelegongan, gong kebyar, and so forth. Gambang had a uniqueness starting from the instrument, unordered arrangement of tones, shapes of beater, playing techniques, relationship between the blades and its lawah, as well as linkages of gambang to its vocal. Gambang along with the text should be played related to the gangsa and the four sets of gambang. (iBTN/015)