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Saturday, February 01, 2014

SAUNG ANGKLUNG UDJO, BANDUNG. A MUST VISIT!



Hellooo blogsphere, am baaaaack! YAY

How time flies!!! and so this is my first post in the new year, 2014 and the Lunar new year, the year of the Horse after another super long hiatus ha ha. How I miss posting!!! Been soo busy bee with work and everything but that just sounds like an excuse, doesn't it? :) :P

Anyways, about two week ago me and my family went to Saung Angklung Udjo and we had soo much FUN learning, playing and enjoying the exotic sounds of Angklung, a musical instrument made from bamboo.

I dunno if they still do this at schools but when me, also my sister, my youngest brother and my brother in law except for my angel 4 yo niece were in elementary school, we remember we got music lesson and also learned traditional instruments. So playing Angklung is not really our first and our visit to Saung Angklung Udjo was like bring our ol school memory back of how fun it was learning traditional musical instruments. Well thats should be more for my Sister actually ihihi. I meant She always have such big interest in traditional things and unlike my sister I didn't paid that much attention in school either so I should say she got better memory about the school things than I am lols. I think I played more than study when I was a kid ha ha! Oww better stop my shameless rants about my past and back to the op, shall we not?! heheheh :P 

But before we go further, what is so special about this bamboo instrument you asked? Well, I honestly didn't really know what so wow about it too BUT I did a lil research for this post a.k.a browsing so I did learned a bit more now about traditional music and angklung in particuliar, eventually! :P and its interesting and cool instrument I think , just amazing how it took me many long years to even realize that. x_x! 

About Angklung.

Angklung is West Java traditional musical instruments made from bamboo pipes. According to my source, the word of "Angklung" was originated from Sundanese "Angkleung-angkleungan" that means the movement of angklung player and the sounds "klung" that comes from the instruments.

The unique part of angklung is that each instrument has the sound of only one specific note. The note can be produced by simply shaking the angklung. Because of that, angklung is usually played in groups of people, using up one, two or even up to five sets of angklung.

According to its history, Peoples in western part of Indonesia which called Sundanese, functions Angklung as an instrument in religious rituals in the past.
They use Angklung as a medium to invite Dewi Sri (rice goddess/prosperity) to come down to the earth and gave fertility to plants using old angklung or buhun angklung in local. 

Whats makes buhun angklung different than modern Angklung is their musical scales; Tritonic, Tetratonic and Pentatonic or three tones, four tones and five tones.

It was only in 1938, the re-inventor Angklung Daeng Soetigna expanded Angklung's notations not only to play traditional pélog or sléndro scales, but also diatonic scaleand and because of his Angklung modifications, Angklung become more modern and often played together with other western music instruments in an orchestra and made Angklung gets International attentions.  

Angklung today can be performed through all genre of music. Musical numbers from classical work to a very well known radio top 40 hits.

The modern Angklung or better known as Daeng Angklung or Padaeng Angklung has ofc enriched Sundanese musical instruments beside the traditional angklungs that already exist such as Angklung Baduy, Angklung Buncis, Angklung Gubrak, Angklung Bungko, that still used by some villages in many ceremonies as explained here

Saung Angklung Udjo.

Inspired by the Angklung Maestro, Daeng Soetigna who invented Angklung Diatonic or also known as Angklung Do Re MI, the famous Angklung artist Udjo Ngalangena [RIP] who well known as Mang Udjo or Uncle Udjo in English who happened to be his student and also his assistant, created an Angklung house in 1966 with his wife Uum Sumiati which located in the northern part of Bandung, at Jalan Padasuka 118 or Padasuka Street 118 in English.




Saung Angklung Udjo or commonly called SAU aimed to maintain and preserve Sundanese culture and traditional arts where you can see Angklung made, learned and played.

SAU has become a very well-known one-stop cultural workshop in Indonesia and one of highly recommended tourism destination for a long time now.

Mang Udjo contribution with his Saung Angklung Udjo has made him as an Angklung legend.


Me and my fam have to say Saung Angklung Udjo is such a worth visit and if you haven't go there, I totally recommend it especially for those of you who is looking for fun yet educative tourism destination and in this post I will show you why.

First, how to visit Saung Angklung Udjo? I stole this map above from SAU website hihi.


cuz if you haven't go there, you should go there sweetie and the map should help you find the place. Its about 7km from the Bandung center, I think..or just calculate yourself later. :P

Anyways, when I arrived at Saung Angklung Udjo, I instantly felt the relaxedness of a small village.The place is surrounded by huge Bamboo field and so their parking area. So green and felt really fresh.


Below is pict of Saung Udjo main entrance,


With the long weekend traffic jam and all, we were very lucky managed to come right on time. The Art performances for public was about to start when we arrived so we decided to just went straight to their ticket counter.

That's my brother in the pict below, buying the tickets for all of us.


The Entry ticket prices are:

Idr. 50.000/person for domestic tourist, Idr. 80.000 /person for international tourist. They have special tariff for students, Idr 35.000/person also note the show for the students starts from 8am to 2pm, as for public like us, the show starts everyday for  2hours, from 3.30am  to 5.30pm.


The ticket you paid have included a brochure in which you can read the synopsis of Saung Angklung Udjo's history and background, their synopsis of their art performances and the musical instruments they are using also several songs that you will learn together with Angklung later on the show. Not only that, you'll also get a souvenir! an Angklung necklace which also can be used as pin once you take off the string and last but not least, a welcome drink. That day when we come, they had 3 options: hot coffee- perfect for the rainy season we were in, Es Lilin, a Sundanese little tubes of flavored ice in plastic that my 4yo niece ofc loved and mineral water which I happily chose.


While waiting the Art performances begin and others visitors come, ofc I profited the time to took some more pictures inside. Sorry for the picts quality though, my other cam was low bat.

Anyway, this pict below is the stage where all the arts performances were held.


On the stage you can see some of the traditional instruments they will use for the performance were already set.

Besides Angklung Padaeng, you can see as well other West Java traditional musical instruments such as Gendang, Calung, Arumba which was invented in 1970 and stands for A for Alunan/Strain, Rum for Rumpun/Tribes and Ba for Bambu/Bamboo, this West Java unique traditional instrument made from black bamboo is also called Bamboo Strains in English, some of modern instruments.

Below is where the domestic and international tourists will sit, watch and enjoy the art performances of SAU.


You can book via phone or online reservation for the seat or just come and but the ticket directly like we did.


Well, we just glad we got the seats! Me and my fam sat on the second row taking our selfie picts when we had a chance before the show. 

Yup that's me, my only sister, my baby angel first niece and my brother in law. My youngest brother was so kind taking our pict again and again hehehe.


And the show begun!


With a warm friendly opening hosted by a pretty Sundanese lady wearing beautiful modern kebaya explaining Angklung, Saung Angklung Udjo,what we were about to enjoy and learn. Me and my fam was definitely so excited!
 
Wayang Golek demonstration.


As explained by the host earlier, the art performances started with a short version of  Wayang Golek demonstration or the Puppet show with traditional music as its background.

Why the short version you asked? coz the original version of Wayang Golek will take at least 7 hours! O.o
But the lady host explained, the bottom line is same like as when you watched the original version and yes me and my fam did enjoyed it.

When you ask these three-dimentional wooden puppets a.k.a Wayang Golek to Sundanese peoples, Cepot will immediately comes to their mind first.

Cepot is the famous character of Sudanese Pupet or Wayang Golek in local. Cepot is witty, funny and smart and above is the pict I took for your better view when they played the Wayang Golek. Cepot is the one in the middle with his famouse red face! :O

I have the vid version for this but thanks to my smart but super slow internet connection, am not yet able to upload it here or on You tube but I will try again soon!

After the wayang golek demonstration, the show continued with some of Sundanese traditional dances like Tari Kukudaan or Kukudaan dance, Mask dance or Tari Topeng and other dance I forgot the names haha



What makes Sundanese dances different from more than 3000 other Indonesian original dances besides their costumes ofc? Thats a good question that needs a lot of googling with my googeling eyes LOL seriously, coz there are more than 700 ethnic groups in Indonesia and each has their own dance, reflecting the country's diversity of ethnicities and cultures

However, its historical, tradition and genre are several aspects that can divide the dances of Indonesia.

In its tradition, Indonesian dances can be divided into two types; traditional dance and contemporary dance. According to its patrons, it can be divided into two genres; court dance and folk dance. In historical aspect it can be divided into three eras; the prehistoric-tribal era, the Hindu-Buddhist era and the era of Islam.


As Social conduct and entertainment among Sundanese people of West Java Indonesia, Sundanese dances is a dance tradition that is a part of ritual, artistic expression with with flowing movements in-sync with the beat of Kendang accompanied with Gamelan Degung music ensemble. Sundanese dance is usually cheerful, dynamic and expressive.





I am impressed with their Angklung orchestra covering "Heal the world" from Michael Jackson at the end of their Art performances. I think the chose they right song and just love those exotic sounds of this bamboo made instruments.


On their Angklung Orchestra , they also use Angklung Toel
 
Angklung Toel is a new innovation from Saung Angklung Udjo. Angklung was created in 2008 by Yayan Udjo, one of Udjo’s son.

Toel is a Sundanese word means ‘poke’ so the Angklung's name made me a bit giggled but am not surprise, Sundanese peoples are knows as pretty laid back type of people, creative, artistic and for their humor taste and this new musical instrument invention named showed it.

So what special about Angklung toel technology? Normally Angklung should be played by several or a group of peoples but Angklung toel functions similar to a piano and can be played all together by one person. That's how far I can explain, you should go to SAU and ask about it  for better explanations. :)



After the whole SAU art performances finished, it was time for us to learn to play Angklung. YIPPIE


Since we were all gonna play simple song together using Angklung, buch of kids wearing traditional costumes gave each of us an Angklung. Big Angklung for adults and mini Angklung for kids.


They made the angklung very easy to understand for beginner like us. Each angklung has already signed with different numbers that indicate its tone so we just follow the instructions and paid attention to the teacher when to shake our angklung according to the number he instructed with his hand to play the song together.


My niece also tried to learn play her angklung, it was her first experience but she was a bit moody in the middle of the show. She refused to use her mini angklung and use mine instead. :)


The angklung lesson wasn't hard at all. It was really FUN and we all managed to play simple songs with angklung together with no rehearsal in advance.


but we didn't know that we played that's much tones until the teacher showed it us after we finished play those songs with our Angklung! O.o that was funny and everyone laughed.

Games and Dances.

After successfully played songs with angklung, it was time to celebrate with dance and games.






After the show finished, I took some snaps again at their natural traditional theme toilet.
How I like the bilik doors there! Bilik is very rare now these days... Bilik is Indonesian name for bamboo handy craft can prepare as plafond or wall design.


 We also checked the souvenirs at SAU souvenirs store before we were leaving.


Some souvenirs,

 `Iket`.

Above is picture of Mang Udjo wearing`Iket` and there's a reason why I snapped and highlight it. 

`Iket` or fabric head coverings is part of the everyday men clothes on the island of Java, until around the beginning of the year 1900 and do you know to continue and preserve that tradition- initiated by the new Bandung's Major Mr. Ridwan Kamil, every Wednesday in Bandung is now called `Iket` Day so in any day, especially on every Wednesday in Bandung, you'll see Bandung peoples proudly wearing `Iket`to show their identity as Sundanese also to express their love to Sundanese culture.



Too bad we didn't had the time to see their angklung workshop to see the angklung making, my niece was starving so we had to went rush find a resto for her also for all of us as it was almost dinner time too so that was it for now.

Ohw before I go, I am just successfully uploaded the vid on my You Tube channel today!

Here's the vid version of "Heal The world" covers by Saung Angklung Udjo Orchestra. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


I also hope I can find the time to finish all my blog drafts asap and come back again with more updates. I blogging!!!



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Source
Wikipedia
www.angklung-udjo.co.id/
www.hello-indonesia.com
www.thejakartapost.com
Mignonesia Doc

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for your writing about Saung Aungklung.
    Now I have a much better understanding of what it is.
    Matthias

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