Artist in Residence
Musician and Shadow-Puppet Master
Darsono comes from a prominent family of music and theatre traditions in Central Java, Indonesia. He grew up in a small village outside of the court city of Surakarta, long known as one of the major hubs for performing arts in Indonesia. Darsono studied karawitan, a genre of music played with a gamelan (a primarily bronze percussion ensemble) from Central Java. He also learned the revered art of shadow puppetry, primarily from his father and other relatives, until he continued his study of Indonesian performing arts at Institute Seni Indonesia, a national conservatory of the arts in Indonesia. Darsono graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Performing Arts, and a major in traditional Javanese court music. Today, he is one of the most prominent musicians inside and outside of the city of Surakarta. Darsono has traveled widely as a teacher and performer of music as well as a puppet master (dhalang) in Europe, the US, and Asia. In the U.S., Darsono has been appointed as an artist-in-residence at several institutions, including Wesleyan University, Smith College, Tufts University as well as Bates College. While at Bates, Darsono will be a lecturer with the Bates gamelan, provide private Indonesian music and puppetry lessons with students, and direct & perform a Javanese shadowplay (wayang kulit) with the Short Term Course s25: Performing Musical Art of Indonesia.