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Skidmore College

Music of Indonesia promises to delight at Zankel

March 16, 2014
Kecak Dance
Kecak dance

A concert titled “Music of Indonesia” is scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Arthur Zankel Music Center on campus. The College’s Department of Music and Asian Studies Program are sponsors of the program.

The performance will feature Balinese and Javanese Gamelan music directed by distinguished composer, musician, and educator I Made Lasmawan and Skidmore faculty member Elizabeth Macy. In addition there will be a group performance of Balinese Kecak, a dance-drama influenced by the sanghyang trance rituals that depicts the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, the story of Prince Rama. Featured special guest will be I Putu Hiranmayena, noted musician and son of I Made Lasmawan. Students in Skidmore’s “Indonesian Music,” “Performance and Dance,” “Music of Southeast Asia,” and “Study of Taiko classes” will be part of the evening festivities.

Gamelan music features a variety of instruments making up the traditional ensemble. They can include metallophones, xylophones, kendang (drums), gongs, bamboo flutes, bowed and plucked strings, and occasionally, voice accompaniment.  This event will showcase a central Javanese gamelan and Balinese gamelan Beleganjur (Balinese marching gamelan).

The artist, I Made Lasmawan, is a prolific composer who taught Balinese music at STSI (Indonesian College of the Arts) from 1983 until 1990, when he was invited to San Diego State University to teach Javanese and Balinese music. Living in Colorado since 1993 as artist-in-residence with Gamelan Tunas Mekar, Lasmawan also teaches Balinese gamelan at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Naropa University in Boulder, the University of Wyoming in Laramie, and the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Macy is a visiting assistant professor of music at Skidmore who holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology. Her research and teaching interests include the music of Bali and Indonesia, music of New Orleans and the American south, and global popular music.

I Made Lasmawan also will conduct a Balinese Kecak, or “Monkey Chant” workshop in Skidmore’s Wilson Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 18. The community workshop is free and open to the public.

Admission for the March 20 “Music of Indonesia” event is $8 adults, $5 seniors and the Skidmore community, and free for students and children. For advance reservations visit or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-5321 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired upon request.

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