Purple Music (Suffolk) LLP

Waterfront gamelan instruments

We were invited to work with students at NACRO in Ipswich for six months on a project building musical instruments tuned to an Indonesian Gamelan scale from scrap and waste materials.

The aim was to build enough hand-held instruments for members of the public to join in a parade along the Ipswich Waterfront. Over the six months period we had many different students working with us as well as prisoners from Hollesley Bay who were almost at the end of their sentence and out on day-release. We built around 30 hand-held instruments, each with two chimes on a wooden base. The NACRO students also designed and built instruments themselves, including 2 large contrabass chimes constructed from cardboard tubes donated by a carpet company. All the instruments were painted by hand, ready for decorating by the public.