By Elia Simantov, EBPP volunteer Music Programme Developer
30th Juni 2011: Towards the end of the year 2000, just over two years after David started working to alleviate the extreme poverty and dire conditions at the mountain villages of Desa Ban in East Bali, one of his visions was for the children who were now in the first 3 EBPP schools in Bunga, CEGI & Pengalusan, to learn music and eventually produce their own bamboo instruments, both to play and to sell as a community business. He then went to the Sukawati Art Market near Ubud and bought a bamboo flute, thinking of the possibilities that lay ahead for the recuperating villages of Ban, in the field of ecologically beneficial bamboo afforestation, and the different and most creative ways in which the bamboo can be used to benefit the communities. When he presented the flute to students and staff in Bunga hamlet, Gemaakt dan, one of the local staff members started to play it.
Flash forward to 2011 and our recent collaborations with Drum Factory, an Ubud based music instrument designing and manufacturing company and Made Kari is the first in Ban to start building musical instruments out of locally grown bamboo. Made, who loves to construct, build and/or repair things, says he’s very excited about the new possibility of making instruments in Ban.
Over the past few months the Drum Factory has donated instruments to our programme, and also sent staff members to conduct Djembe drumming workshops for our kids in the different villages. Since they are experts in the field of music instrument production and distribution we brought forward the idea that we can start to develop EBPP’s music instrument building programme in Ban, and possibly produce new instruments for the Drum Factory.
During a meeting a couple of months ago in Ubud, Ed Balma of Drum Factory gave us samples of instruments that are not currently manufactured by them, in order for us to start and see what our children and staff can produce in our village. In less than a week, Made Kari started to show us different prototypes of bamboo instruments that he is working on with EBPP senior students and graduates who have hence expressed their excitement and enthusiasm to learn how to make music instruments, and perhaps to have a job in this field in the future. We are certainly curious to see how things will unfold with this new development, and are extremely happy to see how yet another one of David’s dreams and aspirations for the village of Desa Ban is gradually coming true before our eyes!