EXTRA 24 / Gong


"In Europe one may search in vain for any gongs with a beauty of the sound as those of the best orchestras of the ruling princes, the nobility and some of the Chinese music lovers in Central Java. These gongs possess a sound that grips one through the splendour that emanates from them, spreading an atmosphere of truly lofty restfulness and power. Whoever has been fortunate enough, be it only once, to hear the benefaction of this timeless booming tone, dominating the teeming sounds of the gamelan, and to hear it, as it were, come out of silence of eternity, will forever carry it with him as a most precious memory:
Gong jumeglug mandul-mandul
Gumulung obaking waréh
(The sound of the gong, beaten heavily, rolls on its ponderous beat like the ocean tide)"

(Jaap Kunst :142)

Tv: De store gonger ved Mangkunegarans hof i Surakarta. Th: De store gonger ved hoffet i Yogyakarta.

(© Peter Toft)