Senior Pelegongan Advisor from Sanur Dies
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing on May 15th of pelegongan advisor, gender rambat expert and grandfather of Mekar Bhuana founders Putu Evie and Vaughan Hatch, I Ketut Nagi.
The most senior musician left who still remembers the Singgi pelegongan style, Nagi had been a member of Mekar Bhuana Conservatory since 2004. He is one of the few musicians left in Sanur who play gender rambat in the old fashioned style, a manner which is dying out due to a general standardisation of pelegongan playing style by ISI arts institute in Denpasar.
The Singgi pelegongan tradition was taught to the villagers in the 1950s by I Kecug of Kelandis, Denpasar, and it is believed that these compositions were composed by a number of different composers, including I Wayan Lotring, I Nyoman Kaler and Gusti Putu Geria, now all deceased.
The compositions known by the Singgi musicians were also taught to two other banjar in Sanur: Pekandelan and Taman; however the most complete repertoire remains in Singgi and, according to senior Singgi musicians, Singgi was the only area in Sanur that used two kendang kerumpungan in the pelegongan style, as opposed to solo kendang cedugan.
With the tragic loss of I Ketut Nagi, there is only one musician, I Wayan Mandra, also a member of Mekar Bhuana, left who remembers the tradition in its entirety. It seems like the time is nigh to study and record this rare repertoire before it is lost completely!