Ensemble Gending was established in 1989 to present and perform newly composed music on a Javanese gamelan.
The gamelan – being played for hundreds of years on Java and well known for the sonore sound of bronze – has a surprising quality for contemporary composers worldwide.
By combining the gamelan with diverse other instruments and voice, composers are forced to reconsider their approach of both the more usual western instruments, as well as the unusual possibilities of the gamelan itself, with the result that surprisingly creative performances have been realized. Ensemble Gending has played thematic programs in which the gamelan has been combined with electronic music, both taped and interactive, western percussion, voices, string quartet, brass, giant bamboo organ and many other combinations.
The gamelan is more than a set of non-western percussion instruments and by using it the musicians, composers and the audience become involved with it’s cultural presence. Since the year 2006 Ensemble Gending has started to learn more about the Indonesian culture, both the general spiritual dimension of it, but also the contemporary cultural movement of the country. This has resulted in a cooperation with Indonesian composers and musicians that is still evolving.