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Nogo Abang Gamelan Ensemble

Gamelan tour video

Nogo Abang means red dragon in Javanese and links the dragons traditionally carved on gamelan instruments with the Welsh dragon.

Gamelan are the bronze percussion ensembles of Java and Bali, consisting of an array of gongs and other metallophones but also including singing.

Nogo Abang learn and perform classical Javanese repertoire alongside a range of popular Javanese genres that are played on gamelan instruments and upbeat devotional songs accompanied by a battery of frame-drumes. Pieces are taught through a combination of learning by ear, memorisation, and notation to build a wide repertoire. We play on the beautiful set that is housed at St. David’s Hall and perform there at least once a year, sometimes in conjunction with the Cardiff community gamelan group.

The 2017/18 Gamelan Ensemble took part in a 3-week field trip to Surakarta, Indonesia, where they studied at the Indonesian Institute of Arts and undertook a programme of visits to schools, palaces and theatres to gain a deeper insight into the role gamelan plays in society.

  • Auditioned: Yes
  • Conductor: Jonathan Roberts
  • Rehearsals: Friday, 13:00-14:30, St David's Hall

The Nogo Abang Gamelan Ensemble is only open to Cardiff University School of Music students.

Director: Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts
Jonathan Roberts

Jonathan Roberts has played and taught gamelan for twenty years and performs regularly with gamelan groups across the UK and Europe, specialising in Javanese vocals. He studied Javanese music at one of Indonesia’s most prestigious arts academies, STSI Surakarta on a bursary from the Indonesian Government and has a DPhil at Oxford University about gamelan musicianship.

Jonathan is fluent in Javanese and Indonesian and is a multi-instrumentalist and an internationally recognised gamelan singer.