Gamelan Dharma Swara
Christopher Romero, President of Arts Indonesia
Eric Hung, Executive Director
I Nyoman Saptanyana, Music Director
Ida Ayu Ari Candrawati, Dance Director
I Gusti Komin Darta, Guest Artist
Saturday June 16 at 7pm
NEW! Gamelan workshop 4:30-5:30pm
Free and open to the public
NEW LOCATION! (updated 5/16/12)
Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall
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Tickets: $30 Buy Tickets
Event seating is General Admission.
Performed with a 20 minute intermission. Approximate end time: 9:00pm.
Saturday June 16, 4:30-5:30pm, free and open to the public
Gamelan Dharma Swara is offering a music workshop led by Balinese master musician, I Nyoman Saptanyana at 4:30 in Taplin Auditorium in Fine Hall on the Princeton University Campus. All are welcome and registration is not required. Great for kids!
Workshop activities includes:
- Hands-on experience on Balinese gamelan instruments
- Learning the basics of Balinese music, such as gong cycles and interlocking rhythms
- Introduction to one piece of traditional dance music
We broaden our understanding of other cultures around the globe by experiencing exciting and challenging world music, and the Princeton Festival is so excited to bring you our first offering in this category!
In Java and Bali, gamelan music is as popular today as it was a thousand years ago. It is the musical background to every social and cultural gathering, from religious rituals to mainstream radio broadcasts. At the core of gamelan culture is the belief that music is meant to evolve and adapt its repertoire. The New York City-based Dharma Swara is no different and their program will include classical gamelan literature, a modernist Balinese work, and a new American work written specifically for the group.
The second half of the program will consist of a shadow puppet play in which finely carved and decorated puppets are illuminated behind a white screen and brought to life by a puppet master to gamelan accompaniment. Known as wayang kulit in Indonesia, these plays are entertaining theater, myth, morality play and a form of religious experience all rolled into one.
"Awesome ... Stunning ... Astonishing ... " -Bali Post, July 18, 2010
"Amazing!" -All Things Considered, NPR, October 17, 2010
"Spectacular!" -New York Times, November 12, 2010
Synesthesia (2011) by Joel Mellin
Mellin writes: "One sense informs another — automatically and involuntarily. Letters have color. A is orange and B is mauve. What's beyond Z? Numbers have distance. 2 is farther than 1 and 3 farther still. Tuesday is uncertain and Wednesday hopeful. One sense imbues another. Different instruments dance together, fluidly passing slightly somber kinetic energy. A rest is a light breath but still has weight — it's heavy and pregnant. The gamelan is scalding, purple, lava — slowly reaching its boiling point. Synesthesia is not an affliction — it is a blessing.
Kebyar Susun (ca. 1964) by I Wayan Gandra
Developed in the early 20th century, "kebyar" is a modernist musical response to massive changes that resulted from Dutch colonialism. This virtuosic music is characterized by sudden twists and turns: slow and fast passages are juxtaposed, and soft sections become loud without warning. "Susun" means assembled, and it is a perfect description of this work. It is a collage of numerous contrasting sections, and there are solos for almost every section of the gamelan. For those who are new to gamelan, this work gives you a good introduction to the sounds of the different sections of the orchestra.
Legong Keraton Lasem (Traditional)
Legong is a type of Balinese dance that was developed as royal entertainment in the 19th century. Known for its attention to detail and refinement, the dancers will perform intricate footwork and finger movements, and vivid facial expressions and gestures. Legong Keraton Lasem is the most famous work in the legong repertory. The first section presents a maidservant who introduces the two legong dancers. After she leaves the stage, the two legong dancers turn into two characters: King Lasem (back) and Princess Rangkesari (front). Lasem is in war with Rangkesari, but he is also at war with her kingdom. During the course of the dance, he manages to capture her. In the final part of the dance, Lasem is attacked by the bird of ill omen.
Manik Astagina (The Magic Stone; Traditional shadow puppet play)
"Manik Astagina" tells the story of a priest named Gaotama, whose sons Aribang and Arikuning are fighting over a magic stone. Unbeknownst to Gaotama, his wife Jambika received the stone from Surya, the sun god, to whom she has sworn to keep the gift a secret. When she fails to do so, violent greed emerges within the family, leading to unfortunate and irreversible consequences. Drawn from near the beginning of the Ramayana epic, the "Manik Astagina" episode focuses on the negative dimensions of the magic stone's power: its ability to inspire senseless greed and violence, and to physically disfigure its victims. In subsequent episodes, however, the stone's positive potential comes to light. In fact, it is as a result of this stone's magic that Hanuman, the powerful white monkey who eventually rescues Princess Sita from Ravana in the portion of the epic most familiar to western audiences, comes into the world. The magic stone thus serves as a catalyst for several series of events, both fortunate and disastrous, which unfold throughout the Ramayana epic as a whole.