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Home » Dance, Drama & Music, Miscellaneous

A Sad News from Bali  

by on Wednesday, 1 October 2008No Comment | 1,046 views

Kak Wayan Konolan, one of the greatest masters of gender wayang from Banjar Kayumas kaja Denpasar passed away last night. He was also known as the father of great musicians, Pk.Wayan Suweca, Pk.Nyoman Sudarna, Bu Ketut Suryatini and Pk. Wayan Sujana.

konolan

He looked well and vigorously played and taught gamelan in the end of August, when I saw him for the last time. He performed gender with his children and students on last Kuningan in Mas, as usual. However, he had suffered from liver and heart diseases for these years. He had been in the hospital again since early September, complaining stomach pain.

A friend of mine in Bali has called me this morning and told me this sad news. According to Pk.Nyoman Sudarna, the son of Pk.Konolan, the family will soon hold a ngaben ceremony for Pk.Konolan, but the exact date is not yet fixed at present.

Pk Konolan was born around 1930, almost the same age as Pak Loceng alm. Though his career as a gamelan player was so comprehensive, including geguntangan arja RRI, semar pegulingan and angklung, I believe his excellence in gender wayang should be remembered above all.

Opposite to Loceng’s rather “aggressive” style (of course I love it too, please do not misunderstand) , the gender performance of Konolan was rather milder. Although he had distinguished skill, he did not show off it and always performed so easily and elegantly.

He also had extraordinarily good memory and rich repertoire. Since he was young, he had never stopped learning new gender wayang tunes from different villages. Every year, he used to tell me “gending habis”, no more tune to teach. But next year I always found he remembered another tune or copied a new tune from the recordings. Thus gending had never been habis.

He did not miss a chance to get new tune. If he made an acquaintance with another gender wayang musician, he would politely ask him for a tune. His sociable, mild, open-minded character helped him to make many friends easily, and as a result, his repertoire covered tunes not only from Kayumas and other Denpasar districts, but also Sukawati, Mengwi and Karangasem. Actually, the Kayumas style includes the tunes from different villages, reflecting his flexible attitude and continuous curiosity about variety of tunes.

I miss him very much. However, I believe that his children, grand children and many students will succeed his tunes, style and aesthetics. I am proud of being one of his students and thank him for everything he taught me.

I pray for the soul of him.

Ako Mashino

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