Music for PoP ArtSpace Earth Exhibition

The Gamelan Night Heron by Rich & Lou’s Loudhailer

The Night Heron

I was lucky enough to train as a Gamelan workshop facilitator with Manchester’s Halle Orchestra Gamelan and to play with the Hull Honorific Sea Dragon Gamelan Orchestra. Around that time Rich and I wrote and recorded The Gamelan Night Heron as the soundtrack to Linda Martin’s art film.

Sea Dragon
Sea Dragon

We used some gamelan instruments – the saron, slentem and gender – and explored different ways of playing them for this recording. You may notice that I have a strange vocal accent. This is because I recorded Rich’s vocal, then flipped it round so it was backwards, I listened, and copied the backwards vocal, recorded it, then flipped it back round again. There is a film cut of the music, and a radio edit.


With thanks to Hull Community Gamelan and Alan Raw for djembe and rainstick. Rich & I perform The Night Heron with our full psychedelic electric band, the Loudhailer Electric Co. You can see a video of us playing it here: Loudhailer Electric Co.

Our original Night Heron song is influenced by Welfare State International’s magical heron lantern installation on a boat on Lake Windermere. It was part of the millennium Cityscape >< Landshape Symposium which explored how art is good for the earth and which for us made the natural earth unworldly…

Listen to the full length Film Cut

Listen to the 3 minute Radio Edit

“Ok, imagine a lake – very still, clear as glass, no ripples. Little fires burn all around the lake… and as night falls the full harvest moon rises into the September sky. Wood smoke drifts up to the stars…

On the lake, a boat, and on the boat, a huge paper heron all lit up with electric light. And from the boat the sound of the gamelan – the saron – fades into the distance as the boat is rowed towards the far shore.

We watch this, looking down through the trees… and we see… the Night Heron…”

You are the night heron I am…
Over the silver moonbeam plated lake our eyes swam
Southwest to find the full moon
And I still believe we can
Moor our boat to the farthest shore
Listen to our hearts and the gamelan
Pure and right
Inside us…

You are the night heron I am…
And even if there is a stone’s throw between us
South and north still
Still together alone
Entwined and like and being
Our sweetest dna
Flowing between us around and through…
You’re coming with me
I’m coming with you…

© R & L Duffy-Howard

One Minute Gamelan Workshop

One Minute Long Kaleidoscope Video