and now for something completely different
Today's photoshoot - Gamelan at the inauguration of the new Indonesian Embassy in London. Sarah has played with this group - called Siswa Sukra for a while and they are about to go on tour in Indonesia, which is very exciting. I was thrilled to be able to join them tonight (more thrilled than Boris Johnson apparently, who had to decline his invitation as he was at a banquet with the King of Spain).
I travelled down from Dumfries by train and all went well until Crewe, when everyone was ordered off the train because of a signal failure. We were to get on another train to Birmingham New St, walk to Moor St and catch a third train to London. In the end it was only one extra train, but stuffed bursting with standing passengers. We arrived in London 11/2 hours late and I had only 20 minutes to get to the Embassy. The entrance to the Underground was blocked by people so I decided to blow my Delay Repay money on a taxi.
Arriving at the embassy, I must have looked hot, bothered and hungry, and I had a lot of luggage (mostly stuff sarah had asked me to bring for her trip to Indonesia). But I said to the nice lady at the door that I was with Siswa Sukra and she waved me past all the suited dignitaries and into the room where the music had started for the arrival of the guests. I was to sit behind the players - a perfect vantage point.
Here is Callum playing the Big Gong (the Gong Areng). I got to play it in a piece later on - the highlight of my evening :-)
There were amazing dancers, and a group of women who played pop tunes on instruments made out of bamboo. There were speeches - and there was food, lots and lot of it.
What an evening...Thank you Siswa Sukra for letting me be "with the band"! See extra for the whole gamelan ensemble.