Brengenging Sala

Enter the markets of Solo A feature documentary exploring
the vibrations of a living city
  • Synopsis

    In Solo it’s easy to get lost

    The arts and culture of the Javanese are deep in history and tradition.  There is ancient percussion music known as gamelan, shadow puppet performances, batik cloth dying techniques, and a beautifully complicated Javanese language.  It is one of the most fertile places on earth, and it seems as if life has always flourished here.  Sangiran, a village 15km north of Solo, is one of the most important archeological sites of early man in the world. Since those modest times, ancient Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim empires have thrived. Matt and I spent two years living in Solo. This film is the culmination of many of our thoughts and feelings. We captured pieces of some of the most interesting places in Solo, the traditional markets.

    Brêngênging Sala

    in English: Solo Drone

    from Javanese:
    brêngêngêng : to buzz, whine, hum
    brenginging: high pitched whining, e.g. of a mosquito

    Brêngênging Sala is a story of life.  It captures the essence of a particular place in time. It translates into pictures and sound something that escapes translation by words. It is our experience. and the world buzzing around us.


    The Javanese have a concept called “rasa”. In English it translates directly as “flavor” or “feeling” but it has a deeper meaning that does not have a direct translation; it’s the characteristics of the essence of life, it’s “the way things are” but on a metaphysical level. Being able to realize rasa in life is considered a significant accomplishment. Brêngênging Sala is an attempt to realize the essence of one of the most interesting places on earth, bringing its rasa to film and to audiences

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  • Trailer



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  • The Filmmakers

    Matt Dunning first met Matt Shoemaker while playing gamelan music at the Mangkunagarran Palace in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia, in 2010. A shared love of the culture and back alleys of this city made a collaboration such as Brêngênging Sala inevitable.


    Matt Dunning: Director/Editor

    Matt Dunning (born 1984) grew up in Buffalo, New York and graduated from State University of New York Fredonia with degrees in History and International Studies. After University, Matt moved to Chicago where he founded the artist habitation project “No Sandbox”.  Living in Chicago inspired Matt to begin experimenting with unorthodox methods of documentary film making, attempting to capture the flavor of mundane life. In 2011 He was awarded a two year artist residency at ISI Suraktarta in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia. Matt has directed  SEKATEN (2013), BREAKFAST SANDWICH: THE MOVIE (2012), and PRETTY MERMAIDS(TV) (2006)


    Matt Shoemaker: Composer

    For nearly two decades artist Matt Shoemaker (Born 1974, Seattle, Washington, USA) has been exploring the strange universe of sound and listening. Using microphones, digital and analog recorders, computers, modular synthesizers, acoustic instruments, and assorted signal processors, Shoemaker transforms music and noise into compositions of uncanny beauty and hallucinatory intensity. Beginning in 2010, he spent two years in Central Java studying the music, art, and culture of the region. His work has been published throughout the world on such esteemed labels as Trente Oiseaux (Germany), Helen Scarsdale Agency (USA), Elevator Bath (USA), and Ferns Recordings (France). He has performed at numerous universities, dance halls, rock clubs, and art galleries, and he has received commissions for radio works from across the globe.

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  • Contact Us

    Contact us with any questions or comments.


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  • Sekaten

    If you like Brengenging Sala check out The Doop di Doops other original production: Sekaten

    “Sekaten takes the viewer to Central Java, where the old world and the new are colliding and creating interesting images and sounds. Sekaten is a popular festival marking the birth of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. It is the only time that gamelan Sekaten is played, a cosmic and ancient form of music unlike any other in the world. Sekaten is an art film as much as it is a documentary. It doesn’t tell, it shows; there is no narration. It attempts to put the viewer in the perspective of someone experiencing the Sekaten festival for the first time, leaving a sense of curiosity, and desire to learn more about Javanese culture.”





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