“This ensemble still maintains a deep respect for the tradition and mystical rites that surround gamelan music…” Lim Chee Wah, TimeOut KL, 2008
Sharmini began her music journey at a very young age and decided in her teens to be the only female trombonist in town. Her love for the trombone led her to an interesting musical experience for the next 18 years of her life as a professional trombonist. She discovered the beautiful sound of gamelan in the early 1990s and was invited as founding member of Gamelan Club and then with Rhythm in Bronze. Together with Jillian Ooi, apart from Rhythm in Bronze concerts, she also performed in a number of local stage productions such as Scorpion Orchid (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre), Trees (Actors Studio), Storyteller (Dramalab), Box of Delights (Actors Studio) and Four Men and a Woman (Actors Studio).
She has been managing and producing for Rhythm in Bronze since 2008, and in this capacity translated many of her dreams into reality, the biggest being the award winning Rhythm in Bronze community project, Bites of Delights, which she produced. During the day, Sharmini works full time with Malaysia Airlines as a Manager of Strategy under the Group CEO's office. Sharmini firmly believes that passion and creativity are the keys to success, and that both give us the opportunity to grow and turn our dreams into reality, be it in music or the corporate world.
Artistic & Music Director
Jillian has been Music Director of Rhythm in Bronze since 2003, and its Artistic Director since 2005 (in partnership with Sunetra Fernando). Her experience in gamelan began with local stage and dance productions such as Scorpion Orchid (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre), Trees (Actors Studio), Storyteller (Dramalab), Box of Delights (Actors Studio) and Four Men and a Woman (Actors Studio). She has performed in and directed the following Rhythm in Bronze concerts: Laras Gong in 2003 (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre), Wujud Antara in 2004 (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre), Monkey Business in 2005 (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre), and Alih PungGONG in 2007 (Actors Studio & Five Arts Centre).
Jillian received the best musical direction award at the Cameronian Arts Awards for concerts such as Wujud Antara (with Sunetra Fernando, 2004) and Alih PungGONG (with Susan Sarah John, 2007). Jillian’s composition for gamelan, Runtuh, was awarded the best original composition prize at the Cameronian Arts Awards in 2008. In 2004, she initiated Rhythm in Bronze’s gamelan-based community projects, based on her belief that gamelan has the capacity to transform disadvantaged communities and in particular, children. When she is not playing the gamelan, Jillian prefers being out at sea and underwater. She has a PhD in seagrass biogeography from the University of Western Australia, and lectures at the Department of Geography, Universiti Malaya. Jillian is passionate about both the arts and sciences and thinks that smarter integration of the two will lead to greater moments of brilliance and humanity.