Metalworks is a new Western gamelan. It has eight members - all professional musicians - with backgrounds in jazz, Latin American, experimental, Baroque, Indian pop and contemporary classical music, but all united with an interest in gamelan and composition. Most of the group has studied traditional music in Java or Bali. The group is particularly interested in the more contemporary styles of gamelan, especially Javanese pop and night club music and popular Balinese pieces. We also commision new works for gamelan from Western composers such as Howard Skempton and Michael Parsons. In addition we play works by Michael Nyman, Lou Harrison and members of the group.

"The eight English musicians making up Metalworks play an inspiring mish-mash of Indonesian pop, nightclub hits from Sunda, English church bell change-ringing and original compositions. They positively flaunted their multi-cultural heritage by incorporating smoochy sax, Latin American percussion, klaxon coach-horns and ethereal vocals into a stirring performance of this simultaneously sacred and secular music.

In these times of undiscerning admiration of non-Western cultures, it is refreshing to find a bunch of people who have the integrity (and wit) to reveal their own cultural roots whilst paying homage to another culture, arguably the only true form of multiculturism. Gamelan music, particularly that of Bali, has plundered bits of other cultures to which it has taken a liking, and the music of Metalworks continues in the same tradition."

Folk Roots

We have recently begun working with the actor/storyteller Tim Ward Jones combining Asian folk tales with music.

"A comic delight in his strutting impersonation of a conceited cockerel. A glorious evening."

Gainsborough Standard


Metalworks was built and the group formed in 1988. Since then we have performed throughout the length and breadth of England and Wales, performed and recorded the incidental music for a TV drama, been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, appeared on a children's TV programme, released 2 CDs, received grants and commissioning funds from the Arts Council and the Holst Foundation and run hundreds of workshops for which we have twice received PRS Composer in Education awards!


If you want to know about forthcoming Metalworks concerts, take a look at the news section.

If you would like more information about Metalworks, you can obtain a brochure by emailing us at with your name, the name of the organisation you represent, and a postal address for us to send the brochure to. Alternatively you can request one by post, by writing to the following address. Please state when writing by post that you found out about us through this web site.

Metalworks Gamelan
1, St Annes Rd