First Night 2001, Santa Cruz

2001 was a year of consolidation for Anak Swarasanti. We had gained a lot of new players, and had thrown our energies into working with them and bringing them up to speed on our repertoire, and had hardly performed at all. But we decided to celebrate the end of the year by taking part in Santa Cruz's First Night Procession - a New Year's Eve extravaganza of a procession up the main street in Santa Cruz. We were delighted when the First Night organizers asked us to lead the parade! The photo above is the view we had at the front of the procession, with throngs of people cheering us on! We had recruited a lot of friends to carry our yellow and white banner, as well as Balinese temple flags and umbrellas.

This photo was taken in the middle of the procession - two new players, Amy and Liz, sporting fashionable Balinese headwear. We had played First Night a few years earlier (back then, the procession had gone the other way down the Mall). In the background between them you can see Steve, playing reyong. In Bali, the four reyong pots are typically played by four separate players - very difficult! We have a smaller group, so we play them in "barbell" formation - also sometimes used in Bali.

This is another of our new players, Greg, with Liz. The beleganjur (marching gamelan) includes seven sets of cymbals (ceng-ceng) which are played in interlocking patterns. Greg has a pair of ceng-cengs around his neck. The crowd loved the crashing sounds of the gamelan!

Here is Justine, our other reyong player, looking very happy with the performance. We had reached the end of the parade at this point, and were breaking things down and getting ready to pack up. Cecile at right is carrying her ponggang (a larger and deeper-pitched version of the reyong which provides the anchoring bass line) over her shoulder.

Here are our trusty gong-carriers and flag-carriers - friends of the group who we had press-ganged into carrying gongs, flags, umbrellas and banners for us. The ones I recognize are Steve at far left, and Renata and Lee at center and right, carrying the tall white and yellow temple flags.

Here we are doing our final breakdown. Banner carriers Naomi and Kira at left. The players at First Night 2001 were Cecile Cruz, Justine Kragen, Steve McDonald, Astrid Randall, Dan Philips, Vera Diani, Christopher Willmer, Asleif Willmer, Amy Beal, Ralf Dietrich, Greg Weber, Elizabeth Torres and Martin Randall.

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