The Angklung is an Indonesian musical instrument that is made from bamboo. It is made up from eight or more individual frames, each producing one of the eight notes on the musical scale. Depending on the type of Angklung, the musician either shakes or strikes the frames to produce music. When combined with other instruments in an orchestra, the Angklung contributes a beautiful twist.
The performance at Saung Angklung Udjo features the Angklung, but also incorporates Wayang Golek (wooden puppets), traditional dance, and the children’s orchestra into the show, so it’s interesting to watch as well as listen to.
The show begins with an abbreviated Wayang Golek demonstration of about 20 minutes.
A full performance typically goes for eight hours. Wayang Golek is a traditional Sudanese theater drama performed by wooden puppets. At the beginning of the performance, all the puppets that will be in the show are lined up in front of the stage. The puppets on the left are the bad guys, and on the right, you have the good guys.
Wayang is written to characterize different aspects of human personality – greed, anger, lust, empathy, joy, etc. There are many popular renditions, but they all deliver a moral message. Usually, the message is to treat others as you want to be treated – the seeds we sew determine the harvest we reap.
The Helaran is used both as a circumcision, and harvest celebration. After a circumcision, all the boy’s friends gather in joyous celebration to make him forget the pain. The harvest celebration is a festive celebration of thanksgiving.
Two segments of Kandaga Mask Dance are also performed. The dance tells the story of the Kencana Wungu Queen being chased by Prabu Menakjingga, who was madly in love with her. There are two acts to the dance – one without masks, and one with.
The first act – The Queens bodyguard investigating the situation.
The second act – The bodyguard fights Prabu Menakjingga.
The final dance is the Angklung Jalpong. It’s an erotic dance that originated from the Ketuk Tilu folk dance.
The audience gets to participate during the show too. They teach everyone to play the Angklung by giving everyone an instrument that plays a single note. Each instrument is numbered – the conductor uses a variety of hand signals to let you when to shake your Angklung. And, following the final dance, the audience is invited onto the dance floor to dance with the performers. It’s all good fun!
The late Udjo Ngalagena founded Saung Angklung Udjo in 1966, with his wife Uum Sumiati. Today is is operated by his son. It is a combination workshop, education center, and cultural center.
The workshop strives to produce the finest Angklungs in Indonesia.
As an education center, children attend their regular school in the morning, and study music here in the afternoon.
The cultural center strives to preserve Sundanese culture offers the daily performances that are held daily from 3:30 to 5:30 pm. Admission is Rp.80,000.
Their address is Saung Angklung Udjo, Jl. Padasuka 118, Bandung. Ph. +62 22 727 1714, or +62 22 710 1736. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org