Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) Gamelan Group, Sanggar Kirana, launched a gamelan album, entitled “Gatra Pertama” on 18 September 2013, at a special event in Marriot Putrajaya. The launching marks a historic event for the university as it is the first ever gamelan album produced in Malaysia by university students.
The album was also launched to celebrate Sanggar Kirana’s accomplishments throughout its 11th year of establishment. The group has made the university proud by performing at national and international levels for the university, PETRONAS, Institutes of Higher Education Malaysia and state government occasions. Apart from that, UTP gamelan group has also participated in various music festivals, concerts and competitions, such as the International Javanese Gamelan Festival Bandung Indonesia, International Gamelan Festival Yogyakarta Indonesia, Festival Gamelan Malaysia Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Tapestry of Colours at Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS and National Malay Gamelan Competition.
Sanggar Kirana was established in February 2002 with the aim of promoting Malaysian culture, developing traditional music and instilling arts and music skills among students. The group consists of 32 members, under the baton of En. Zaidin Mohamed Nor and En Teuku Umar Ilany.
The album was recorded in Hani Budi Studio, Batu Pahat Johor in just nine days. It features a compilation of songs that capture the beauty and authenticity of gamelan music. It comprises eleven songs; nine are especially composed for Sanggar Kirana while the remaining two are traditional Malay gamelan songs. All tracks in the album are performed by Sanggar Kirana.
The album will be available at all music stores and on iTunes, starting next month. At RM29.90 each, proceeds from the album will go to Sanggar Kirana’s fund for the group’s future development.
On 20 September 2013, Sanggar Kirana made a special live appearance at Malaysia Hari Ini (MHI), TV3. The group performed four tracks from their newly released album, namely “Dayung Sampan”, “Sanggar Kirana”, “Susuk Angin” and “Isang” with liveliness and vigorousness.
In an interview with MHI, En. Mohamed Noor Rosli Baharom, UTP Deputy Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Alumni said that the production of this album is a testament to UTP’s vision of producing well-rounded engineering and technology students who not only excel in academic, but are also able to appreciate and uphold the value of Malaysia’s arts and culture. He also hoped that with the launching of this album, it will help to preserve gamelan music and instil the public’s interests, especially the young generation, to appreciate gamelan music.