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Press Release

THE HUDSON VALLEY GAMELAN PRESENTS TWO EVENTS AT BARD COLLEGE, THURSDAY, APRIL 27, AND FRIDAY, APRIL 28 Bard events include the Gamelan's annual spring concert and a

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The Hudson Valley Gamelan presents two musical evenings at Bard College. On Thursday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. the gamelan will give its annual spring concert in Olin Hall. The performance, under the direction of Fulbright scholar-in-residence Ni Ketut Suryatini, feature guest artists I Nyoman Sumandhi and
I Nyoman Suadin. On Friday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center , there will be a shadow puppet performance, with dalang master I Nyoman Sumandhi, benefiting an Indonesian orphanage. Both these events are free and open to the public.

"The major event of the evening was a rare performance of gamelan music . . . a modern incarnation of Balinese music," wrote Peter Marshall in the Lakeville Journal Compass about the gamelan's December appearance at Bard. "It was a fascinating form of music making . . . this was a great chance for many to experience music from East Asia."

The spring concert on Thursday, April 27, will feature guest artists I Nyoman Sumandhi and I Nyoman Suadin. The gamelan ensembles will play a style of twentieth-century Balinese music known as gamelan gong kebyar, a complex percussion-based ensemble music. Gamelan ensembles are traditionally composed of twenty to thirty musicians, who play metallophones, gongs, drums, and flutes. Balinese song and dance will accompany the music

The shadow puppet performance, organized by Bard students on Friday, April 28, features the dalang (shadow puppet) master I Nyoman Sumandhi. The donations received from this performance will go to directly support Indonesian children at the orphanage Bina Harapan on the island of Java. There are twenty-eight children at the orphanage and school who range in age from eight to nineteen. They have been placed there due either to dire economic circumstances on the island or the loss of one or both parents.

Garry Kvistad, the founder and proprietor of Woodstock Chimes and Anyone Can Whistle, placed the gamelan instruments on indefinite loan to Bard College to facilitate the performance of Indonesian music and dance. The instruments, made in Blaubatuh, Bali in 1978, were used to establish gamelan ensembles in Berkeley, California, and New Haven, Connecticut, prior to Kvistad's purchase of them in 1988. Kvistad founded the Gamelan Giri Mekar (Mountain Flower) in Woodstock, New York, which performed frequently in the Hudson Valley prior to joining with Bard students in Gamelan Chandra Kanchana (Golden Moon) to form the Hudson Valley Gamelan. Ni Ketut Suryatini is the director of the ensemble this academic year.

I Nyoman Sumandhi is one of the most esteemed performers in Bali. He is a dalang, a shadow puppet master, and also performs the topeng, or mask dance. His father was the renowned dalang Bapak Rajeg. The shadow puppet theater, or Wayang Kulit, is regarded as the pinnacle of the arts in Indonesia. Dalangs are recognized as master artists as well as spiritual leaders. Becoming a dalang involves a mastery of traditional music, dance, and choreography, as well as the repertoire and theatrical techniques associated with the shadow puppet theater. Sumandhi is presently artist-in-residence at the Center for World Music, San Diego.

I Nyoman Suadin, who was guest director of the Hudson Valley Gamelan last spring, is the artistic director of the Gamelan Mitra Kusuma in Washington, D.C., and teaches at the Eastman School of Music and Swarthmore College. He has been studying Balinese music and dance since the age of seven.

Ni Ketut Suryatini, Fulbright scholar-in-residence at Bard College for the 1999-2000 academic year, is on the faculty of the College of the Performing Arts (STSI), the preeminent musical institution in Bali. She comes from a family of specialists in the gender wayang. Her brother, I Wayan Suweca, considered one of the finest Balinese musicians, was the musical director of the first professional gamelan ensemble in the United States. Suryatini, one of the first female graduates of the STSI, is a composer, playwright, singer, and dancer who has participated in five international performing arts tours to Japan, Europe, and Canada.

The performances are sponsored by the Asian Studies, Dance, Music, Theater Arts, and Religion Programs at Bard College. For further information, call 914-758-7364.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001