The NCH Gamelan Orchestra has released its debut single online. I composed Embat in 2014 to commemorate the gift of the NCH gamelan instruments from the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The piece was premiered in Ireland's National Concert Hall for the gamelan's inaugural naming ceremony during the sultan's royal visit in September of that year. Over the years it has been performed at music festivals across Ireland and Java.
The word "embat" is a Javanese word referring to the characteristic tuning differences which make each gamelan unique. The music uses traditional Yogykarta playing techniques to highlight the key features of the gamelan's tuning. The composition was inspired by the sounds of gamelan craftsmen forging a new gong which I filmed in Java in 2013.