I wanted to look at my genealogy as it was always interesting to me. I had discovered my Mum’s parentage all the way back to 1801 (when records started to get sketchy) but I’ve never found much about my Dad’s heritage. During Skylarking 2009 which was an hour long semi improvised look at my dad’s experience during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya, I had found out that my Dad’s mum was born in Acheh, Sumatra, in 1911. This tiny detail sparked a whole inquiry into what was there, but no one really knows the history of Puteh Ashaari (I don’t even know her maiden name, everything is so sketchy) but it set off fireworks in my head.
I wanted to be immersed in the cultural heritage of South East Asia I quickly headed to the Internet to find everything I could. People to speak to, things to see.
I’d googled gamelan London and had got in touch with some contacts.
My trip back after that visit to Suffolk was followed quickly to St Luke’s in Old St where I had booked to see LilaCita, a London-based gamelan orchestra, in a performance. I had contacted a lady called Made Ni Pujawati, a Balinese dancer who teaches a troupe of dancers called Lila Bhawa, also in London.