Indonesian gamelan music in The Hobbit
In August 2013, Megan recorded sound effects for The Hobbit : The Desolation of Smaug with the Indonesian gamelan music ensemble Gamelan Padhang Moncar (GPM) in Wellington. Watch our rehearsal in Peter Jackson’s production diary #14 at 7.04. The creative process involved a mixture of improvised sounds and the rendering of specific melodic themes written by the composer Howard Shore, for Smaug the dragon.
“…in The Hobbit we used a gamelan, which is a wonderful, very exotic eastern instrument. It was used in the scenes with the dragon Smaug. So the gamelan really took on the character of Smaug.” Billboard Nov 3 2013.
Indonesian media comments about gamelan music in the Hobbit
Net. Entertainment News posted this report. “Gamelan Jawa jadi illustrasi dalam film The Hobbit” [Javanese gamelan used as sound effects in the Hobbit film]
National Geographic Indonesia. “Gamelan Jawa Mengalun Merdu dalam Film Kedua ‘The Hobbit’ ” [The sounds of Javanese Gamelan in the second Hobbit film].
Republika Online. “Wow Gamelan Sukses Tembus Hollywood” [Wow Gamelan breaks into Hollywood].
Kompas. “Gamelan Warnai” [Colourful Gamelan].
Voice of America – Indonesian language “Gamelan Jawa jadi illustrasi film kedua The Hobbit” [Javanese gamelan used as sound effects in the second Hobbit film].
Net. Entertainment News. “Gamelan Jawa jadi illustrasi dalam film The Hobbit
GPM musical director and drummer, Mr Budi Putra, from Surakarta, Indonesia says,
“Yesterday morning I was interviewed by Mba Iman from Voice of America (VOA), Washington DC, USA regarding the use of Gamelan Padhang Moncar as sound effects music in the Hobbit film this year. I said, ‘although it was only heard for a few seconds, the choice to use gamelan in a project as big as the Hobbit is a huge honour for those of us who love our national culture.’
Of course gamelan has already been widely used in scores and for sound effects in films like the Opera Jawa films of Mas Garin Nugroho etc… I see the involvement of gamelan in the Hobbit as a great way to introduce and promote gamelan to a worldwide audience. Hopefully, in a small way, this will give the Indonesian people and the government the drive to get to know and develop their own culture further. We should be glad when our culture is known and in demand by other countries.”