The talent behind Gangsapura


Gansapura is a musical performance group that is actively working to keep the spirit and the beauty the traditional musical instrument called the Gamelan alive. Established in 2016 by co-founders Teuku Umar Ilany teuku Iskandar and Nur Diyana Nadirah Shaharuddin, the group has gone to carry out many programmes in their mission to promote and bring awareness about the beauty of the Malay’s traditional musical instrument.

Artistic director and co-founder Tenku Umar Ilany describes Gangsapura as a traditional art centre. “We aim to be a traditional Malay art centre. It is basically to inspire, to motivate and to influence and educate people through our music.”

The idea to form the Gangsapura group began with the realisation that many people who previously learn the gamelan, either in school, colleges or universities, will somehow not have a place for them to continue their passion with the musical instrument. After years of learning the art of gamelan and then teaching the art in places such as the National Academy or Arts, Culture and Heritage (ASWARA), he realised that there was one issue that gamelan musicians face. The issue is that they somehow have nowhere to go after they are done with their studies in institutions that has a gamelan musical troupe.

“Most people who learn about the traditional arts, especially the gamelan, because most public university has gamelan, after they graduate they have nowhere to continue their interest in that particular field”, he said. After discussions with his co-founder Nur Diyana, that is where they decided that a traditional art centre needs to be established. This centre would not only be a place for people who already know the instrument but also a place where anyone who is interested in the art could come, learn and appreciate the gamelan.

Currently, Gangsapura has been working together with institutions and non-profit organisations to organise workshops, seminars and masterclasses in order to make their goal of generating interest and the preservation of the traditional art of the gamelan. They are also striving in delivering amazing performances with a mixture of contemporary and modern performances of the traditional musical instruments.

When asked why it is important to celebrate traditional forms of arts in the modern age, Teuku Umar Ilany said that “the more you know about your culture, then you strengthen your understanding of yourself musically. There is a lot of elements in music”. Attempting to bridge the gap between modern and traditional forms of arts will definitely create a greater sense of appreciation for the growth of the arts.


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