Gamelan Architecture


"A gamelan is a set of instruments as a distinct entity, built and tuned to stay together.

Instruments from different gamelan are generally not interchangeable. 

The word "gamelan" comes from the Javanese word "gamels", meaning to strike or hammer, and the suffix "an", which makes the root a collective noun" (Wikipedia)

“Gamelan Architecture” was a multidisciplinary international Art project that initially involved Dance, Music and Architecture.

Two collectives of young people developed in parallel two interactive installations and/or performances that unfolded simultaneously in two different countries,.

The CYP were involved in a series of similar workshops in which they collaborated with the lead artist/choreographer, an architect and a composer/musician. Carlos Cortes worked in both countries, whereas the architect would be selected and would  run the project from one location and the composer/musician from the other.

The final outcomes were shared by both groups and by the artists involved and by audiences in two countries and included:

At Kanes Hill/Portsmouth the final outcome took the shape of a number of visual arts displays, an architectural installation and a number of films and songs. All of them were part of an exhibition first at the Lighthouse and then at Aspex Gallery. Some of the songs created by the children became the soundtrack for parts of the performance in Spain. It could be worth mentioning that our exhibition inspired the children of one of the other groups taking part in the Creative World project to create their own den and this made us very happy.

In Zaragoza, Spain, the final outcome was an 18min choreography performed in front of an audience as part of the international dance festival “Trayectos”. The performance incorporated architectural structures created by some of the children involved in the project. These elements were actively engaged with by performers and audiences alike. Important parts of the soundtrack for the piece were the songs created by the children at Kanes Hill

Click here to see a video of the project


"By the way, among all the things I saw on Saturday i was fascinated by the work this year of the community program. It was for me an unprecedented success in this city, with a special sensibility and flair to coordinate children and young people working together and so focused. It was a very visual and emotional performance form the groups that took part. The spectacular set elements, how the group was motivated and how they evolved (they were not working in their familiar territory and they were being receptive to playing with movement, very grown up from last year's experience) how beautiful, how really beautiful...For next year I want to volunteer to help, to be an assistant...whatever because I wan to follow that line of work, guau, I was so emotional...I truly think it was great work overcoming many difficulties...congratulations and thanks for what you gave to the audience .

From an audience member in the Spanish festival

Artistic Direction: Carlos Cortés

Music and video: Ricky Tart

Architecture: “Gravalosdimonte” Architects

Production: Festival Internacional danza TRAYECTOS Zaragoza, Spain

Amy Lloyd, ASPEX GALLERY, Portsmouth, UK

Choreographer assistants:

Angel del Campo, Margallo, Patricia, Paula (special  musical colaboration Rubén Arnal, Colegio Tenerías)

Hugo Haughtier and the group Gatos Oscuros

Visual elements development:

David Martínez, Conchi del Río, Colegio de San Agustín.

Special Collaboration :

Children of Kanes Hill, (Southampton, UK): Laura Kate Ward, Shannon Ward, John Ward, Mary Mc Donaugh, Annie Mc Donnaugh, Martin McDonaugh, Starr Bennet, Billy Bowers, Michael Bowers, Princess Ross

and Louisiana Ross.