Rumbling, noisy and jarring Jegog gamelan music stomped the heart of the Buffalo Race Town, Negara. The play of melodious tones overlapped and was accompanied by the beating of bamboo blade sound. Though it was only a set of bamboo gamelan instrument, its sound was remarkably enchanting and melodious. It is the illustration of Jegog arts attraction in the Jembrana Arts Festival taking place in the Bung Karno Cultural Hall, Jembrana Town Center, Saturday (Mar 15). The festival inaugurated by Director of Domestic Tourism Promotion, Directorate General of Tourism Marketing, Tazbir, with the Regent of Jembrana featured 50 Jegog troupes of the hundreds of existing troupes.
Appearance of the natural artists was very attractive. The gamelan musician played each composition while dancing on top of gamelan set. Sometimes, the gamelan players also spun their gamelan beater as an expression of pleasure. Interestingly, the Jegog artists were from different generations that almost had no blemish. The old gamelan players presented classic composition, while the teenager and children gamelan musician played creation composition collaborated with other music instrument so that it generated unique music presentation. Meanwhile, junior gamelan players consisting of high school children showed off their gamelan composition along with lively dance.
Jegog is gamelan musical instrument made of large bamboo blade formed in such a way that becomes a set of bamboo musical instrument. This type of gamelan is estimated to have existed since 1912 and has become the icon of Jembrana. Jegog is usually displayed together in competition. The Head of Jembrana Culture and Tourism Agency, Nengah Alit, said the second Jembrana Arts Festival applied the concept of digging, preserving and developing the arts and culture. One of them was the Jegog denoting the native culture to Jembrana that had been recognized worldwide. “The festival is a medium for cultural preservation, chiefly for the Jegog art,” he said.
These arts and cultures, he explained, posed the capital to the development of tourism in Jembrana so as to attract more travelers. Meanwhile, the art of Makepung or Buffalo Race had been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage. “The buffalo race is performed routinely for two times per year during the implementation of Jembrana Cup and Regent Cup,” he said. Meanwhile, the art of Jegog is showed off every Saturday night (weekends) at the center of Jembrana town. It was intended to give the opportunity to Jegog troupes in each subdistrict to make performance. The gamelan players consisted of 19-25 school students as an effort to develop the Jegog art among school children. “This Jegog art has also been familiar to make performances overseas like Canada, Switzerland and Japan,” he added.
In this festival, added Nengah Alit, it was also displayed the Jegog performance accompanied with other entertainment such as comedy, dance and band. The Jembrana Arts Festival denoting the program of the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy was intended to generate cultural tourism including the preservation of Jegog art. “The festival is scheduled to be held regularly to encourage the Jembrana tourism,” he said. (BTN/015)