The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. VIII, no. 5, p. 10, May/June 1997:
Gamelan Madu Sari presents a concert of Javanese music and dance at the Western Front. The concert will feature guest artists from the Central Javanese court centre of Yogyakarta, performing on the instruments of Kyai Madu Sari (The Venerable Essence of Honey). The gamelan of Central Java consists primarily of bronze gongs and xylophone-type instruments, but also includes bowed and plucked string instruments, bamboo flutes, drums, a wooden xylophone, and voices, resulting in a stunningly rich and varied timbral tapestry. The music is at once majestic and ethereal, contemplative and stirring, likened to moonlight and flowing water.
Djoko Walujo is a senior musician at the Paku Alaman palace in Yogyakarta. He has taught at the Institute of Indonesian Art in Yogyakarta, and for the past three years at the California Institute of Arts. Sutrisno is a graduate (S.Kar) of Yogyakarta’s Fine and Performing Arts Academy (ISI). Composer, performer, choreographer and dancer, he has toured with Indonesian performing groups to Europe and East Asia, created his own dance dramas, and worked with senior Javanese choreographers such as Bagong Kussudiharjo. He is currently a staff member of the Indonesian Consulate-general in Vancouver and teaches Javanese gamelan and dance there. Anis Wijiastudi, Sutrisno’s wife, is a highly skilled Javanese dancer, vocalist, and an instrumentalist who also earned a degree (S.Kar) in traditional music (karawitan) from ISI.
The performance will open the ensemble’s sixth annual workshop residency, in which the Javanese guest artists will assists ensemble members in deepening their knowledge, honing their skills, and developing the sense of ensemble which is key to the performance of this music. The workshop will also in part be preparation for Gamelan Madu Sari’s dance drama presentation at the Dancing on the Edge Festival on July 10 and 12.
Introductory Weekend Workshop
Four days: Saturday and Sunday June 7, 8, 14, 15,
10 am to 4 pm.
Workshop fee $175/$150 students & members
In conjunction with the ensemble’s own workshop residency, a weekend workshop will be offered introducing the fundamental principles and techniques of gamelan. Instruction will be given by senior members of the gamelan, with lectures by the visiting Javanese artists. The emphasis of the workshop will be hands-on practise on the instruments of Kyai Madu Sari, augmented by listening and viewing sessions and discussions of the cultural context of gamelan.