In Indonesia, whether in small villages or lavish royal estates, alone or accompanying dance, drama, and puppet theater, gamelan music is considered essential for official ceremonies, life-cycle rituals, and celebrations. (See Gamelan). The instruments comprising the Yale Gamelan Ensemble came to Yale in 2006 (See History of Gamelan Suprabanggo).
” . . On hearing gamelan for the first time, some people are struck by the complexity of the relationships between the melody lines of the different instruments … . others focus on the mellifluousness of the sound and the soothing, meditative quality of some of the music. Still others are excited by the multileveled interlockingness of the texture, comparing it to the experience of listening to several, incredibly good jazz solo players improvising together.” -S.Weiss (see About Gamelan Music)
LISTEN to gamelan music >> .. to LISTEN to gamelan music
(from a program of original compositions by Yale student composers
with links to mp3 uploads).
April 21, 2010
“Music from Yale Composers”
Hosted by Yale College New Music
New works by: Nicholas Frankel, Ryan Harper, Rex Isenberg, JurajKojs, and John Swisher; Featuring members of Gamelan Suprabanggo and Founding Director, Sarah Weiss
Gamelan Suprabanggo’s Inaugural Yale Concert
Click here for Concert Program with links to audio recordings >>
Battel Chapel, Yale University
Gamelan- A Javanese/Indonesian word for ensemble. The word “gamel” means to hammer something. A Central Javanese gamelan consists primarily of bronze instruments - horizontal and vertical gongs and metallophones - but also includes several stringed instruments, flutes, drums, and voices in performance. Gamelan orchestras are the traditional accompaniment to wayang shows, dances, feasts and ceremonies of Indonesia. Gamelan music consists of smooth, “impressionistic” tone clusters and intensely complex intertwining rhythms and textures.
Wayang - Javanese wayang kulit or wayang purwa - a dramatic form involving puppetry - derived from a Javanese Hindu-Buddhist tradition, where hand-crafted leather puppets are used to depict epic stories of the gods in shadow play.
Dhalang The wayang puppeteer - in performance, employs the combined arts of puppet movement, dialogue, songs and commentary.
Klenengan - Javanese gamelan music, played in soft and contemplative style, used for listening entertainment rather than for the accompaniment of a dramatic theatrical event.