Image shown: Gamelan set

West Cork’s newly formed Gamelan Spréacha Geala, (translating as ‘Bright Sparks’ Gamelan) will be part of two events in June 2017, which are free and open to all ages. The gamelan is a spectacular set of tuned bronze percussion instruments played by an ensemble of up to 20 musicians. A ‘chamber version’ of Gamelan Spréacha Geala will be visiting The Clonakilty Organic Arts Festival on 18 June and there will be an open workshop and performance on Wednesday 21 June to celebrate World Music Day.

Gamelan Spréacha Geala is supported by the HSE/West Cork Mental Health Services. Rachel Swindells of the Research Institute for Health & Social Change at Manchester Metropolitan University has researched the wellbeing benefits of gamelan and has found that it promotes ‘feelings of togetherness and group cohesion.’

The Skibbereen-based Gamelan is directed by Kevin McNally, Department of Music at UCC. Playing gamelan is by its very nature a participatory and sociable experience. However, for those interested in digging deeper, the study of gamelan can also incorporate the learning of complex musical techniques. Why not come along to one of the two free events below to hear and learn more?

Clonakilty Organic Arts Festival
Two workshops will be delivered on Sunday 18 June. Festival goers are invited to try out this inclusive orchestra, which requires no previous musical experience to play. The instruments are made from bronze and beautifully carved wood, and come from the ancient musical court tradition of Java, Indonesia. Workshops will take place at 1pm and 2pm in Killgarriffe church and places are limited, so get in early to avoid disappointment. It is suitable for all ages but very young children will need to have an adult to help them. For further information and bookings visit

World Music Day
Gamelan Spréacha Geala will also be hosting an open workshop and performance on Wednesday 21 June to celebrate World Music Day. This day of free events around the world celebrates the universal language of music in its many varied forms. A ‘taster workshop’ open to all ages (children must be accompanied by an adult) will take place from 7 – 7.30pm. This will be followed by an informal performance of gamelan music from 7.30 – 9pm and guest appearances from Bantry Community Choir and The Sunshine Singers. This event will take place at The Workshop, Cope Foundation, Mill Road, Skibbereen. For bookings contact:

This project has been kindly supported by Cork Education & Training Board, HSE/West Cork Mental Health Services, Cork County Council’s Creative Communities awards, MusicAlive & Suisha Arts/Cope Foundation. 

For further information visit the West Cork Feelgood YouTube channel on


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