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Press Release

Hudson Valley Gamelan Winter Performance Brings Sounds of Bali to Bard

Emily Darrow



Ninth Year of Performances at Bard College; Program Features
Traditional Balinese Folk Music and Dance


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Hudson Valley Gamelan (HVG) will perform its annual winter concert on Saturday, December 8, presented by the Music Program at Bard College. The event—featuring traditional Balinese folk music and dance—begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall with a suggested donation of $10 (free for the Bard community).

Gamelan is the name given to the traditional orchestras and ensembles of Java and Bali, which are made up primarily of percussion instruments. Bard College’s program in Balinese music and dance was established in 1998. The HVG comprises two ensembles in residence at Bard—Chandra Kanchana (Golden Moon), composed of Bard students, and Giri Mekar (Mountain Flower), consisting of  members of the community at large as well as Bard faculty members. The artistic director of both ensembles is Tjokorda Gde Arsa Artha.

The groups play gamelan gong kebyar instruments crafted from jackfruit wood, bamboo, and bronze by Pande Gabeleran, a gongsmith from Blahbatuh, Gianyar, Bali. These instruments are on permanent loan to Bard College, courtesy of Woodstock Percussion owner and CEO Garry Kvistad, who is one of 18 musicians to win a Grammy award for the 1998 recording of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians and is also a member of the percussion ensemble Nexus. Kvistad founded Giri Mekar in 1988; it performed at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock and Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie before taking up residence at Bard. The first joint performance by Chandra Kanchana and Giri Mekar was in May 1999.


An accomplished dancer, musician, and artist, Tjokorda Gde Arsa Artha, born in Ubud, Bali, came to the United States in 1982, where he attended the Art Students League on scholarship. Through the Asia Society of New York and other organizations, he has performed and in programs representing the visual and performing arts of Bali. As a fine artist, his work is in the permanent collection of the government of Indonesia; he was commissioned by UNICEF in 1989 to do a painting for The Flags of the United Nations; and in 1997, was an award recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation. A permanent resident of the United States, he is director of the Pomona Cultural Center in Pomona, New York. He is active in commissioning painting and promoting the art and culture of Bali, and is a visiting instructor of music at Bard.

The HVG welcomes new members. Rehearsals are held on Monday evenings at 9:00 p.m. at Bard College. For information about the concert or joining the ensemble, call 845-679-8792 or 845-679-8624.


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This event was last updated on 12-11-2007