FARMINGTON — The University of Maine at Farmington will host a performance by the Bates Gamelan Mawar Mekar (“Blossom of Inspiration”) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in UMF’s Emery Community Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

The Bates Gamelan Mawar Mekar, directed by Professor Gina Fatone, serves as an Indonesian music study group and performance ensemble, and provides ceremonial music for college events.

A gamelan is a traditional Indonesian musical ensemble of Java and Bali composed of tuned gongs of various types and metal-keyed instruments. The ensemble is conducted by a drummer, and often includes voice, bamboo flute, xylophone and stringed instruments.

The UMF performance will be directed by celebrated Indonesian musician Darsono, Artist-in-Residence 2017-2018 in the Bates Music Department. Darsono comes from a prominent family of music and theatre traditions in Central Java, Indonesia.

He studied “karawitan,” a genre of music played with a gamelan from Central Java. He also learned the revered art of shadow puppetry, primarily from his father and other relatives. He continued his study of Indonesian performing arts at Institute Seni Indonesia, a national conservatory of the arts in Indonesia.

Today, Darsono is one of the most prominent musicians inside and outside of the city of Surakarta. At the royal court of Mangkunegaran, Surakarta, he serves as the main drummer for dances performed at the court. In the surrounding villages, he is regularly featured as an accompanying musician at shadow puppet theatre performances (wayang kulit). Darsono has been appointed as an artist-in-residence at several institutions, including Wesleyan University, Smith College and Tufts University and Bates College.

Included in the UMF concert will be three selections of traditional Central Javanese court music, ja Javanese shadow-puppet demonstration by Darsono, and a performance of UMF Professor Emeritus Philip Carlsen’s “Snowleaf” (2005), composed for the Bates Gamelan. Carlsen will perform with the orchestra on the slenthem, a type of metallophone (metal keyed instrument).

This event is sponsored by the UMF Emery Community Arts Center.

Bates Gamelan Mawar Mekar (“Blossom of Inspiration”) with guest director Darsono celebrate Indonesian musician.

Bates Gamelan Mawar Mekar (“Blossom of Inspiration”) presents traditional music of Central Java.


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