Room 58 down in the sub-basement of the Music Building is home to a beautiful set of bronze Javanese gamelan instruments, purchased last spring from the Javanese shadow master and gamelan musician Ki Midiyanto. The gamelan, which Ki Midiyanto named Hapsari Kusumajaya (which loosely translates to “Heavenly Nymph Flower Power”), traveled to Seattle by sea in March 2013 from the island of Java in Indonesia.
The new instruments make their Meany Theater debut Tuesday, May 20 at the annual Ethnomusicology Visiting Artists Concert, this year spotlighting gamelan music, dance, and shadow puppet theater of Java. Visiting artist Heri Purwanto (gamelan musician) and his students will be joined by very special guest Ki Midiyanto (shadow puppet master), Jessika Kenney (singer), Ethnomusicology faculty artist Christina Sunardi (dancer), and Seattle ensemble Gamelan Pacifica.
Christina Sunardi, assistant professor of Ethnomusicology, is using the instruments--an assortment of bells, gongs, and mallet instruments--to teach gamelan ensemble courses, host lecture-demonstrations and workshops, invite master gamelan musicians from Indonesia for residencies in the School of Music, and organize performances (such as the May 20 Visiting Artists Concert at Meany Theater) that feature the use of these instruments.
The acquisition also facilitates continued collaboration with the University of Washington Southeast Asia Center, the Seattle ensemble Gamelan Pacifica, Seattle Pacific University, and the local Indonesian community in the research, teaching, performance and promotion of Indonesian arts and culture.
Details about the May 20 performance are available here.