Percussion Ensemble with UW Steel Band and Gamelan Ensemble

Friday, May 31, 2019 - 7:30pm
$10 all tickets
Percussion instruments

The UW Percussion Ensemble (Bonnie Whiting, director) presents a year-end performance shared with the UW Steel Drum Band (Shannon Dudley, director) and the UW Gamelan Ensemble (Christina Sunardi, director).

UW PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE
Bonnie Whiting, director

Third Construction (1941) .................................................................................... John Cage (1912-1992)

The Unfinished Story of La Isla (2019) ............................ Lynn Park (b. 1998) & David Norgaard (b. 1998)

The Glass Abattoir (2008) ................................................................................ Philip Schuessler (b. 1976)

You Said (2019) ......................................................................................................... Aidan Gold (b. 1997)
Aidan Gold, speaking percussionist

Intentions (1983) ........................................................................................... Eugene Novotney (b. 1960)
I. Assumption
III. Function
II. Proposal

Sideways (2016) ..........................................................................................................Cara Haxo (b. 1991)

Three Ragtime Pieces (1924) ................................. George Hamilton Green (1893-1970), arr. Bob Becker
Log Cabin Blues [Calib Byers, xylophone]
Chromatic Foxtrot [Lynn Park, xylophone]
The Whistler [David Gaskey, xylophone]


UW Percussion Ensemble
Calib Byers
Edward Cunneen
David Gaskey
Aidan Gold
Cyrus Graham
Courtney James
Mason Lynass
Rhane Mallory
David Norgaard
Lynn Park
Sophia Schmidt


UW GAMELAN ENSEMBLE
Heri Purwanto, Visiting Artist in Ethnomusicology
with Jesse Snyder, Stephanie Shadbolt, Christina Sunardi, and UW Students

Gamelan are ensembles largely composed of gongs and keyed percussion instruments. Although many such ensembles are found throughout Southeast Asia, gamelan are primarily associated with musical cultures on the Indonesian islands of Java, Madura, Bali, and Lombok. In Java, the most preferred material is bronze, but iron and brass are also used as less expensive alternatives. Tonight’s set features gamelan music from central Java.

Although different gamelan may vary slightly in their tunings, most gamelan music in central Java uses a five-tone tuning system called sléndro or a seven-tone tuning system called pélog. There are a number of modes, or pathet, in each tuning system. The tuning system (laras) and mode (pathet) are specified in the title of each composition below. Tonight’s set features compositions in pélog using the instruments of the UW School of Music’s bronze gamelan, which is named Hapsari Kusumajaya (Heavenly Nymph Flower Power). Most gamelan include four groups of instruments. The large gongs of various sizes mark the musical structure of repeated gong cycles. The largest hanging gongs (gong) mark the very end of each cycle while the smaller hanging gongs (kempul) and horizontal gongs (kenong, kethuk, and kempyang) divide the cycle into phrases. A family of one-octave metallophones (saron, demung, and slenthem) plays a basic or skeletal version of the melody. A third group of instruments elaborates the melody and includes other metallophones (peking, gendèr, and gendèr panerus), the xylophone (gambang), gong-chimes (bonang and bonang panerus), flute (suling), bowed fiddle (rebab), and voice, although sometimes the saron, demung and slenthem elaborate the melody as well. Vocalists, in addition to elaborating the melody, may sing brief solos and are often a featured part of performances. Guiding the melodic elaboration is a conceptual melody that musicians know but that is not sounded by any one instrument. This melody, sometimes called the inner melody, is sounded when all of the instruments play together, and yet is not audible as a single line played on any one instrument. The drums (kendhang), the fourth group, control the tempo.

1. Ladrang Sapu Jagad, laras pélog pathet barang

This composition is often played at the beginning of gamelan performances and usually features what are referred to as the “loud” instruments—the one-octave metallophones, gong-chimes, gongs, and drums. Voice and the “soft” elaborating instruments such as the xylophone, multioctave metallophones, fiddle and flute are not used.

2. Ketawang Barikan, laras pélog pathet lima

A ketawang is a compositional form with sixteen beats per gong cycle. This ketawang and its lyrics can be understood as a prayer that asks for a peaceful life.

3. Ladrang Gajahmeta, laras pélog pathet nem 
This piece is usually used in shadow puppet theater scenes that feature a strong male character.

4. Lancaran Dhangdut Aja Dipléroki, laras pélog pathet nem
This is a well-known and well-loved gamelan composition by the famous Javanese composer
Nartosabdo. The lyrics present a conversation in which a woman is reminded by her male partner
to remember her identity as a Javanese or Asian woman and not to be too Western in her ways or
manner of dress. Tonight the female and male vocal parts are sung by groups of female and male
singers.
~ Heri Purwanto and Christina Sunardi

UW GAMELAN MUSICIANS (students of Heri Purwanto):
Alicia Angto, Irita Aylward, Caty Barber, Sam Bramer, Javoen Byrd, Juliana Cantarelli Vita, Frederick Chandra, Katy Christensen, Daniel Finlay, Jack Flesher, Clairriss Johnson, Alya Khairuzzaman, Dzuhayra Mustaffa, Sahara Naini, Graham Peterson, Christina Sunardi, Lezhi Wang, James Wenlock


UW STEELBAND
Shannon Dudley, director & arranger

Show Yuh Emotion .................................................................................................. Andre Tanker

Old Lady Walk a Mile and a Half .................................................................................. Traditional

Air on the G String ......................................................................................................... J. S. Bach

Bonnie and Clyde ....................................................................... Destra Garcia, arr. Kristen Jones

Manicero ................................................................................................................ Moises Simón

Charlotte Street ......................................................................................................... Ray Holman

UW Steelband
Marley Bishop

Janella Kang
Jack Flesher
Kelsey Kua
Wyatt Gardner
Lucas Lindberg
Emily Iversen
T. J. Orgovan
Aidan Jackson
Colton Rothaus

Guest percussionists:
Marisol Berríos-Miranda
Monica Rojas
Miho Takekawa
Iris Viveros
Bonnie Whiting


Director Bio

Ethnomusicology professor Shannon Dudley (Photo: Steve Korn).

Shannon Dudley, professor of Ethnomusicology, holds a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. He teaches courses that include music of Latin America and the Caribbean, American popular music, Music and Community, Comparative Musicianship and Analysis, and graduate seminars in Ethnomusicology.  He also directs the UW steeelband.

Dudley has conducted research in Trinidad and Tobago, focusing on the history and music of steelbands. More recent research interests include the musical geography of Santurce, Puerto Rico, as well as Latino contributions to American popular music. His theoretical interests include nationalism, transculturation, and participatory music practices.

His publications include Carnival Music in Trinidad (Oxford University Press, 2004), as well as Music From Behind the Bridge (Oxford University Press, 2008), a history of Trinidad steelband music, and numerous other articles on Caribbean music, including and "Judging by the Beat:  Calypso vs. Soca," Ethnomusicology (1996), and “El Gran Combo, Cortijo, and the Musical Geography of Cangrejos/Santurce, Puerto Rico,” Journal of Caribbean Studies (2008). 

Dudley is one of the curators (along with Marisol Berríos-Miranda, and Michelle Habell-Pallan) for American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, a bilingual museum exhibit that opened at the Experience Music Project in Seattle in 2008.  Between 2008 and 2015 American Sabor was exhibited in 18 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, first in its original version and later in a smaller version prepared in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit Service. Published as a book with University of Washington Press in 2018 (americansabor.music.washington.edu), American Sabor won the ARSC's 2019 prize for Best Historical Research in Recorded Rock and Popular Music.

In Seattle Dudley performs on steel pan with Dingolay, and participates in the Seattle Fandango Project (SFP), a community music group that practices son jarocho. He helps to run the Ethnomusicology division's Visiting Artist program, which includes Community Artists in Residence from Mexico, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere who participate in collaborations between local arts organizations and university programs.

Christina Sunardi

Christina Sunardi is an associate professor in the Ethnomusicology program in the School of Music at the University of Washington, where she has been teaching since 2008. Her interests include performance, identity, spirituality and ethnography in Indonesia. Her work focuses in particular on the articulation of gender through music, dance, and theater in the cultural region of east Java. 

Her publications include articles in Bijdragen Tot de Taal-, Land en Volkenkunde, Asian Music, and Ethnomusicology, as well as reviews in the Journal of Folklore Research Reviews, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences, and Indonesia.  Dr. Sunardi has been studying and performing Javanese arts since 1997 in Indonesia and the United States, earning her Ph.D. in music from the University of California, Berkeley in 2007.  Her book about the negotiation of gender and tradition through dance and music in east Java was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2015.  In addition to her academic work, she enjoys playing gamelan music with the Seattle-based ensemble Gamelan Pacifica and performing as an independent dancer.

Bonnie Whiting

Bonnie Whiting performs, commissions, and composes new experimental music for percussion. She seeks out projects involving non-traditional notation, interdisciplinary performance, improvisation, and the speaking percussionist. She lives and works in Seattle, WA, where she is Chair of Percussion Studies and an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Music.

Her debut solo album, featuring an original solo-simultaneous realization of John Cage’s 45’ for a speaker and 27’10.554” for a percussionist, was released by Mode Records in April of 2017. Her sophomore album Perishable Structures, launched by New Focus Recordings in August of 2020, places the speaking percussionist in the context of storytelling and features her own music as well as works by Vinko Globokar, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Logan-Greene, and Susan Parenti.

Recent work includes performances as a percussionist and vocalist with the Harry Partch Ensemble on the composer’s original instrumentarium, and a commission from the Indiana State Museum’s Sonic Expeditions series for her piece Control/Resist (2017): a site-specific work for percussion, field recordings, and electronics. Whiting has an ongoing relationship as a soloist with the National Orchestra of Turkmenistan via the U.S. Embassy Cultural Affairs Office, playing concerti in Ashgabat in 2017 and 2018. She collaborates frequently with percussionist Jennifer Torrence, giving concerts of new experimental work for speaking percussionists throughout Norway and the US. Her collaboration with multimedia artist Afroditi Psarra generated the album < null_abc >, released on the Zero Moon label in 2018. Their current project with designer Audrey Desjardins on transcoding data from IoT devices as performance received a 2019/20 Mellon Creative Fellowship. This project was explored in a workshop at the 2020 Transmediale Festival in Berlin, and currently lives as an interactive net art installation. 2021 brings the premiere of Through the Eyes(s): an extractable cycle of nine pieces for speaking/singing percussionist collaboratively developed with composer Eliza Brown and ten incarcerated women, and the world premiere of a new percussion concerto by Huck Hodge with the Seattle Modern Orchestra.

Whiting has presented solo and small ensemble shows at The Stone in New York, the Brackish Series in Brooklyn, The Lilypad in Boston, The New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, at Hallwalls in Buffalo, the Tiny Park Gallery in Austin, The Wulf in LA, the Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati, The Grove Haus in Indianapolis, on the Wayward Music Series in Seattle, on tour throughout New Zealand, and at colleges and universities around the country. Whiting has collaborated with many of today's leading new music groups, including red fish blue fish percussion group, (George Crumb’s Winds of Destiny directed by Peter Sellars and featuring soprano Dawn Upshaw for the Ojai Festival), eighth blackbird (the “Tune-in” festival at the Park Avenue Armory), the International Contemporary Ensemble (on-stage featured percussionist/mover in Andriessen’s epic Die Materie at the Park Avenue Armory, and the American premiere of James Dillon’s Nine Rivers at Miller Theatre), Bang on a Can (Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians for the LA Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella Series) and Ensemble Dal Niente (the Fromm Concerts at Harvard.)