An Evening of Central Javanese Music and Dance
With Darsono Hadiraharjo and friends
The Bates Gamelan Ensemble will be joined by visiting professor Maho Ishiguro (Director of the Bates Gamelan Ensemble), Bates’ Artist-in-Residence Darsono along with Phil Acimovic (from Smith College) and Anne Stebinger (NY Indonesian Consulate).
Emily Carty ‘22
Owen Ferguson ‘25
Caroline Norman ‘24
Zane Rahabi ‘22
Jeremy Schrieber ‘24
Christine Murray ‘22
Directed by Maho A. Ishiguro, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music
Gamelan: The term gamelan refers to musical ensembles from the islands of Java and Bali in the Republic of Indonesia, and by extension to the music that is played on them. Javanese gamelan consists primarily of bronze percussion instruments—various sizes of gong and gong-chimes, suspended either vertically or horizontally, as well as various types of metallophones. The ensemble also includes bamboo flutes (suling), wooden xylophone (gambang), a string instrument (rebab) and drums (kendhang).
Tuning Systems: Javanese gamelan normally includes two sets of instruments in each of the two tuning systems, laras pelog (7 notes per octave, used pentatonically) and laras slendro (5 notes per octave). Within each tuning system, there are three modes in which gamelan pieces are written. Tonight’s concert only uses the pelog set.
The ensemble: the ensemble comprises three groups of instruments, the framework instruments, balungan instruments and elaboration instruments. The balungan instruments (the family of saron and slenthem) play the core melody. The elaboration instruments (gender, suling, gambang, rebab, and bonang) are played semi-improvisatory, elaborating the core melody. The framework instruments (gong, kempul, kenong, kethuk and kempyang) give the form of gamelan pieces. A set of drums (kendhang) controls the tempo of the whole ensemble.
The Instruments: The Bates College Gamelan Ensemble comprises two sets of instruments, representing two regional musical traditions from the island of Java. Gamelan Mawar Mekar (“Blossom of Inspiration”) is a Central Javanese iron/brass set built by Mulyadi in Solo, Java in 1997, acquired by Bates in 2001, under the directorship of prof. Gina Fatone. In 2007, a 7-piece bronze chamber ensemble from West Java known as gamelan degung was generously donated to the Bates Music Department by David Lydgate of Kaua’i, Hawaii.
This year, Bates Javanese Gamelan Ensemble is blessed to have Darsono Hadiraharjo, Artist in Residence at Bates, and lecturer at Yale University’s Department of Music. Darsono has taught gamelan all over the world, traveling and performing in Europe, Asia and the US. He has been an artist in residence at Wesleyan University and Bates College (currently and formerly) and has performed and given workshops at Emory University, Tufts University, Smith College, and Brown University to name a few. Darsono is a leading musician at the Mangkunegaran Court in Solo, Indonesia.
This concert is blessed with the presence of our guest musicians: Phil Acimovic from Smith College Gamelan Ensemble and Anne Stebinger from Kusumo Laras, Javanese gamelan ensemble at the Indonesian Consulate in New York.