ROCHESTER, NY — The Eastman School of Music concludes its 2002-2003 World Music Series with a performance by the School’s own Gamelan Lila Muni (“orchestra of heavenly sound”), a traditional percussion orchestra of gongs, drums, metallophones, and flutes from the Indonesian island of Bali. The concert, which features sacred and secular Balinese music — as well as the world premiere of a new work for gamelan, electric guitars, and strings — takes place at 8 p.m., Monday, April 21, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.) and is free and open to the public.
The performance will showcase guest Indonesian dancer Ni Luh Kadek Kusuma Dewi and Visiting Associate Professor of Gamelan I Nyoman Suadin, as well as nearly 40 Eastman students and faculty. Gamelan Lila Muni will be joined in this concert by the newly formed Eastman Youth Gamelan (featuring children ages 8-13), part of the School’s Community Education Division. Dances in traditional costume will include the pendet welcome dance, a pair of topeng masked character dances, and the virtuosic Oleg Tambulilingan. Along with these traditional and modern dances, the ensembles will perform a new work by Eastman student composer Jennifer Graham, winner of the 2003 Barbara Smith Competition for Gamelan Composition. Rounding out the concert will be a brief demonstration, giving the audience an opportunity to learn how the music of the gamelan is structured and performed.
Eastman’s gamelan ensembles have performed with Bobby McFerrin and the Paul Winter Consort. In addition to Eastman’s World Music Series, the ensembles also have performed at the Society for Ethnomusicology’s 2000 International Conference in Toronto, for the New England Gamelan Weekend at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University, and have hosted the Planet Gamelan festival.
Note to editors: Photos and interviews with the gamelan directors are available.