By Taufiq Syamsir
SERI ISKANDAR, 7 June 2023: IIUM Gema Gangsa, a gamelan group belonging to the IIUM, created history with an awestruck performance that secured the first runner-up spot in the Ensemble of Gamelan (EOG) 2023 competition held at Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) on Saturday (3 June).
The EOG 2023 was an event showcasing the talents and artistry of performers from both national and international gamelan groups, that demonstrated their skills through the intricacies of gamelan music. The gamelan groups’ performances were judged and the best performers won prizes.
IIUM Gema Gangsa performed two songs that were “Perang Manggong”, a classic traditional song with a slow melody, and “Dua Jasad Satu Jiwa”, a contemporary song that was composed by their Trainer, Cikgu Ku Zahir Ku Ahmad, that advanced them to the next phase in the competition.
“Dua Jasad Satu Jiwa tells the story of two individuals who have the same mindset, feelings, and objectives that connect the two by emotions. The song can also relate to relationships with friends, teachers, and students,” emphasized Cikgu Ku Zahir Ku Ahmad.
In an interview with one of the performers from IIUM Gema Gangsa, Alif Najmi Bin Abdul Nizan, on securing the first runner-up spot, he shared, “the journey towards Ensemble of Gamelan was a roller coaster ride.”
“We were all looking forward to this event since last year because we were invited but unfortunately, we could not make it. The feeling of excitement that was building up when we were announced as the first runner-up is indescribable as I was on cloud nine,” he added.
Alif expressed his doubts after witnessing six prior versatile performances that made him think that not enough preparation was made for the competition.
“But I believe that the team deserves the award as everyone was giving full commitment and sacrificed their time,” Alif highlighted.
In his concluding remarks, Alif also voiced his gratitude to their Trainer, Cikgu Ku Zahir Ku Ahmad, and Advisor, Madam Roziah Mohd Said respectively for creating an amazing piece and dedicating their time to IIUM Gema Gangsa.
The win at EOG 2023 has opened doors of opportunity for IIUM Gema Gangsa to strive for upcoming competitions as it seemingly marked the start to more glory for the group.
EOG 2023 showcased eight groups across Malaysia and Indonesia. Other than IIUM Gema Gangsa, there were gamelan groups such as Badarsila, KISAS Gemawan, Gatrasas SAS, I Gemersik Cakra MRSM Felda Trolak, Arjuna Kesuma MRSM Pengkalan Chepa, UNDIP UKM Kesenian Jawa, and UNITEN Gema Gamelan at UTP’s Chancellor Hall. ***