Durham University was a real pioneer of Gamelan in the UK. In the late 70’s the Professor of Music, Eric Taylor, arranged a series of hugely successful Oriental Music festivals and it was at one of these that the first Gamelan performers to come to the UK played.
A few years later and Durham’s own Gamelan arrived, along with Sri Hastanto, a top student of the Academy in Surakarta, Central Java, who did his PhD in Durham and later became head of the Academy back in Java.
Durham also sent the first UK student to Java in what became a regular programme of UK music students studying in the Academy for a year, bringing back a wealth of expertise and hugely stimulating the UK Gamelan community.
The Durham instruments were tuned in 2007 along with many other sets in the UK by a Javanese team. Although the Durham instruments are smaller than many, the tuners felt it was a particularly special set, of the highest quality metal and very well made. Come and hear it for yourself.