Date: April 28, 2014
Department: College of Visual & Performing Arts
Professor I. M. Harjito of Wesleyan University is acknowledged as one of the foremost musicians and composers of gamelan music in the world today. In addition to teaching at Wesleyan University, he is a visiting faculty artist at Brown University and UMass Dartmouth, and a guest artist for the Tufts/Boston Village Gamelan and the New York City Gamelan. He is also a regular guest artist at concerts of gamelan music throughout the United States and the world. He has composed many traditional and contemporary pieces for gamelan, including collaborations with tap dance, symphony and chamber orchestra, the Chinese erhu violin, bagpipes, and jazz.
Marc Perlman teaches gamelan at Brown University. He has performed throughout the United States and Indonesia. Barry Drummond teaches gamelan at Tufts University and directs the Boston Village gamelan. He has performed throughout the United States and Indonesia. Ai Harjito is an accomplished instrumentalist and has appeared in numerous concerts in the U. S. and Indonesia.
The Gamelan is an ancient orchestra from Indonesia dating back many centuries. It includes tuned gongs, metallophones, a wooden marimba, 2-string violin, bamboo flute, zither, and male and female singing. The instruments are played in a modal polyphony - many layers of sound - that function to outline structure, to control time and rhythm, and to state a basic melody known as the balungan ('skeleton'). The melody is then enhanced by recreating it in complex patterns of improvisation. It was traditionally played in villages and in the royal courts in Indonesia and is related to other gong chime ensembles of Southeast Asia, such as the Philippine kulintang. Gamelan music can accompany dance and drama -- such as the wayang kulit shadow puppet theater -- or be performed instrumentally, known as klenengan.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in lots 8 and 9. Anyone interested in additional information about this special concert event can contact Professor Jamie Eckert through the Music Department Secretary Michelle Cieto by telephone at (508) 999-8568.