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by World Music Network January 16, 2012


New Album by Sambasunda Quintet - Download FREE Track

The Sambasunda Quintet create music of ethereal beauty centred on the kacapi, a traditional boat-shaped zither. Spacious and stripped down, deeply rooted in tradition, yet highly inventive – allow the sounds of their forthcoming album Java to transport you to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond. 

Order a copy of the album here

Click here
 to download a copy of the track 'Bulan Sapasi' from the new Java.

sambasunda singerThis album is a specially commissioned project performed by a ‘chamber ensemble’ comprising Sambasunda founding members Ismet Ruchimat, Yadi Cahyadi, Asep Yana and Budi Sofyan with new singing discovery Neng Dini Andriati(pictured right). It reflects an enduring classical tradition of Sundanese music while at the same time creating something fresh, modern and original. 

The kacapi's haunting and evocative sound connects to the Sundanese soul and perfectly accompanies the sung poetry which often describes feelings of displacement, longing and melancholy. The instrumentation of the Sambasunda Quintet follows the Tembang Sunda tradition, using up to three kacapis, augmented by violin and suling (bamboo flute) accompanied by a female singer. The addition of the khendang drums – a large barrel-shaped drum played at both ends with various tones elicited by pressure of the foot and three smaller high-pitched drums known as kulenter – is a contemporary touch, and, although some of the compositions are based on standards from the Tembang Sunda repertoire, they are performed with a distinctly urban rhythmic accent. The whole is suffused with a contemporary awareness of global sounds, from the local and international pop music prevalent in Bandung, to the influences of the group’s interactions with international artists they have met and performed with at major music festivals around the world. This is most apparent in the instrumental piece ‘Paddy Pergi Ke Bandung’ (‘Paddy Goes To Bandung’), which, as the title suggests, is a playful collision of Irish and Javanese themes. 

Sambasunda lead the field in applying urban energy to the multifarious traditional music of the Indonesian archipelago. With this special project, the Sambasunda Quintet further explores the unique musical heritage of their home region.

UK Tour - February 2012

09 Feb Colston Hall, Bristol 
10 Feb mac, Birmingham 
11 Feb Lighthouse, Poole 
12 Feb Union Chapel, London 
15 Feb The Stables, Milton Keynes 
16 Feb The Junction, Cambridge 
17 Feb Pontardawe Arts Centre 
18 Feb South Street, Reading 
19 Feb NCEM, York 
23 Feb The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead 
24 Feb Band on the Wall, Manchester 
25 Feb North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford