Private Project

Goong: Sound Through Fire

Sukoharjo in Central Java is one of the few remaining centres of bronze gong forging in Indonesia. 'Goong: sound through fire' follows the creation of a large Sundanese gong (goong) in Sutarno's forge in Jatiteken, Sukoharjo. The film takes an immersive, multi-sensory approach to the process, guided by the occasional interjections of Sutarno. The rich, multi-layered soundscape of the forge and the ever-shifting colours and intensities of the fire accompany the smashing and melting of the copper and tin; the rhythmic hammering, shaping and firing of the emerging, red-hot bronze disc by a team of craftsmen; the voicing of the forged instrument; and finally the sounding of the goong by the master gong-maker.

  • Maria Mendonça
  • Maria Mendonça
  • Maria Mendonça
  • Heather Britton
  • Sutarno
    Key Cast
  • Jonathan Roberts
    Interviewer/Sound Recording
  • Maria Mendonça
    Interviewer/Sound Recording
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Ethnographic film
  • Runtime:
    34 minutes 22 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 31, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Indonesian
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Maria Mendonça

Maria Mendonça is an ethnomusicologist and filmmaker who teaches in the Anthropology and Music departments at Kenyon College, OH. Her first film, Gamelan Encounters (2017), explored the questions of how and why music travels across cultures, focused on four people's stories of encountering Javanese gamelan orchestra performance in Britain. She is part of the editorial team of JAVEM, the online Journal of Audiovisual Ethnomusicology published by the Society for Ethnomusicology, and has been a committee member for the Ethnomusicology Film Award at the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival (2021).

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