The Glasgow-based gamelan ensemble Naga Mas was established in 1993, shortly after the arrival of the ‘Spirit of Hope’ instruments commissioned for Glasgow’s Year of Culture. Twenty-seven years later this community-based group is still going strong!
Their work falls in to three areas. In the core activity of studying and performing the traditional music of Central Java, the group have in recent years benefitted from a series of residencies by master musician Prasadiyanto, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia.
In education and outreach, Naga Mas regularly offers classes and workshops for beginners, as well as partnering with other organisations – most recently Good Vibrations and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – to facilitate musical work with a wide range of interest groups.
Their third great passion is creating and performing contemporary music for gamelan. As well as dozens of original compositions by members of the group, Naga Mas have created two full-length performances combining original music and live video, 'Gamelan Untethered' (2014) and 'Sedna, the Woman under the Sea' (2015). In 2018, they were one of a handful of UK groups invited to the International Gamelan Festival in Solo, Indonesia.