ROCHESTER, NY Rochester audiences once again will have the chance to experience the music, dance, and costumes of Indonesia this spring at the Eastman School of Music, as the School’s Balinese Gamelan Lila Muni ("Beautiful Sound") and Gamelan Kembang Salju ("Flower in the Snow") present their annual evening of sacred, secular, modern, and traditional Indonesian music and dance. The concert in the School’s World Music Series is at 8 p.m., Monday, April 22, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.) and is free and open to the public.
The performance, showcasing Indonesian guest dancer Ni Luh Kadek Kusuma Dewi and Visiting Associate Professor of Gamelan I Nyoman Suadin, as well as nearly 40 Eastman students, faculty, staff, and members of the Rochester community, will include music for gamelan angklung (a large traditional bronze percussion orchestra of gongs, metallophones, flutes, and drums) as well as gamelan joged bumbung (a small modern virtuosic orchestra of bamboo instruments, flutes, gongs, and drums). Along with modern and traditional dances in full costume by Kusuma Dewi and Suadin, the ensembles will present the world premiere of a new work by Daniel Iannantuono, winner of Eastman’s biannual Barbara Smith Competition for Gamelan Composition. Rounding out the program are two gamelan excerpts from Professor of Composition Robert Morris‘ Playing Outside, premiered in Webster Park last fall.
In addition, a new book recently published by the University of Rochester Press which sheds light on the role of the gamelan in politics, art, history, music, and international relations, according to one reviewer will be made available locally for the first time. The Gamelan Digul and the Prison Camp Musician who Built It:An Australian Link with the Indonesian Revolution by Margaret J. Kartomi will be available for sale at the concert. The book, according to Ellen Koskoff, Eastman professor and president of the Society of Ethnomusicology, is a "wonderful and touching story .that recounts the arrest and imprisonment of [a] Central Javanese court musician, his building of a prison gamelan, and its eventual restoration in Australia." The hardcover book, which includes an accompanying CD of the gamelan being performed, will be sold for $50.
"Although the gamelan written about in this book is not the same one performed in concert, this definitely is the perfect opportunity to share it with Rochester audiences," said Timothy Madigan, editorial director of the University of Rochester Press.
Note to editors: Copies of the book are available for review.