Innovation from Bali: A World Premiere

@ 8pm


Indonesian Gamelan has seen an explosion of innovative and ground-breaking composers in the past decade, with young musicians experimenting with forms and instrumentation in ways that their forbearers would never have imagined. World-renowned expert in Balinese music, Michael Tenzer has invited composer Dewa Ketut Alit to Vancouver for a 10 day residency at UBC. Alit, who taught in Vancouver from 2001-2004, is acclaimed internationally for his brilliant, thoughtful innovations to the Gamelan tradition, and has recently begun writing for Western instruments. The concert will feature the world premiere of his new piece Simalakama, for piano, string quartet and double bass, as well as the Canadian premiere of his Ameriki (2018) for flute, piano and percussion.  While only 30 years old, Balinese composer I Putu Gede Sukaryana (known as Balot), is a masterful percussionist and composer, in the forefront of the avant-garde Gamelan scene in Indonesia. A Vancouver resident since 2017, he will also offer his dizzying piece Anomali for 3 reyong players. Other music from the contemporary cross-cultural gamelan scene will round out the concert.


This event is produced in cooperation with UBC Music’s Rhythm Research Cluster, with support from the University of British Columbia Research Excellence Clusters Initiative.



Born to a family of artists in Pengosekan village in Bali, Dewa Ketut Alit was immersed in Balinese gamelan from early childhood. His father Dewa Nyoman Sura and his oldest brother Dewa Putu Berata were the most influential teachers in his life. He began performing at age 11, and by age 13 was playing ugal (leading instrument) in his village’s adult group, Tunas Mekar Pengosekan. 1988-1995 he played in the internationally acclaimed Gamelan Semara Ratih of Ubud village, touring internationally. In 1997, a year before graduating from Academy of Indonesian Performing Arts in Denpasar (STSI Denpasar), Dewa Alit and his brothers founded Çudamani. The group immediately acknowledged as one of the best gamelan group both locally and internationally and went on their own international tours. Dewa Alit is generally acknowledged as the leading composer of his generation in Bali. His “Geregel” (2000) was influential both in Bali and abroad, and was the subject of a 50 page analysis in the “Perspectives on New Music”.  One of his compositions written for a Boston-base gamelan group Galak Tika, “Semara Wisaya” was performed at New York Carnegie in 2004 and another composition “Pelog Slendro” appeared at Bang on a Marathon in June 2006. He also writes music for non-gamelan ensambles such as MIT’s Gamelan Electrika and Talujon Percussion, USA.  In 2014 Dewa was chosen for Ruang Suara project with Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt.  Dewa’s a 15-min piece for this world’s leading contemporary ensemble is scheduled for the world premiere concert in October 2015 in Germany. As a collaborator, Dewa Alit has worked with musicians and dancers from around the world. These include a dance-opera with a Chinese dance company in 2001, contemporary theater production “Buddha 12” by Alicia Arata Kitamura (Theatre Annees Folles, Tokyo) in 2007, a collaboration with a butoh dancer Ko Murobushi in Asia Tri Jogya Festival 2008, Jogyakarta, and a 3-men performance ”Hagoromo” with Japanese contemporary dancer Kaiji Moriyama and Noh master Reijiro Tsumura at Tokyo National Theatre in 2014.  Dewa Alit was a gamelan director for Evan Ziporyn’s new opera “A House in Bali,” performing its premiere with world famous Bang On a Can Allstars in Bali and at Cal Performances, USA, in 2009, and Boston-New York in October 2010.