Gong Ageng, Gong Again Picture

Poster for the upcoming gamelan concert at UCR! If any of you people on my watchlist are in southern California, I'd be thrilled if you came to this. The gamelan is 1337.

The title is a pun, though not a horrifically lame one. The big gong in the ensemble is called the gong ageng, and since gamelan music is cyclical, the gong ageng gets hit again and again, so the title works that way. Furthermore, it's a program of both old and new music, so the gong could be taken as sounding again for a new era of gamelan music.

We were originally trying to think of non-pun titles, related to passage of time or the concept of cycles or to placenames in central Java, but when Mas Sapto (guest director from Yogyakarta) was asked for his input, he looked at us straightfaced and said, "Gong with the Wind." And then we knew it had to be a pun. Among the ones we went through before picking the title on this poster: "Here Today, Gong Tomorrow," "We're Gong-Ho About Gamelan!" "King Gong," and "We've Gong Too Far This Time!"

The thing on the left is a gong (surprise surprise). The Javanese version looks and sounds quite different from the Chinese tam tam sound that people more commonly think of as gong. The thing on the right is a naga; these are sculpted onto the top of the gong rack. In mythology, nagas are symbolic of both mountains and places near water, which fits Riverside pretty well. Nevermind that our rivers don't have water most of the year...

The drawing was done with colored pencils on dark red paper. The typeface, Leporello, was designed by my father.
Continue Reading: Places