Javanese and Balinese gamelan are getting more popular in the United States of America. It occurs because those two traditional musical instruments from Indonesia become a subject in several arts universities, institutes and colleges.
“Besides in the U.S. Balinese and Javanese traditional music also developed in 26 other countries, including in Japan,” said a lecturer of Karawitan Department of Denpasar Indonesia Arts Institute (ISI) I NyomanWindhain Denpasar, on Thursday.
He and nine lecturers of ISI Denpasar led by the Rector of ISI Denpasar, Dr I Gede Arya Sugiartha in the beginning of November got an invitation from Education and Culture Attache of Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Their involvement was to succeed the event of ‘International Seminar and Festival of Indonesian Music’ at Smithsonian Museum U.S.A. I NyomanWindha added that in the U.S, it is predicted that currently there are 200 sets of gamelan that are actively used to support the process of learning and instruction as well as performance.
Besides gamelan, the other traditional music from Indonesia is also intensively learnt in the superpower country. Related to the rapid development of gamelan outside Indonesia, one of problems arises is the lack of scholarly forum that discuss about gamelan and Indonesian arts.
The forum is needed to build dialogue with the outside world and increase foreigners’ interest toward gamelan and other Indonesian arts.
I NyomanWindha who had visited some countries in the world thought that the scholarly forum is very important as it has consequence on the improvement of preservation and creativity in gamelan both in house and overseas.
As an anticipation toward this problem, the Education and Culture Attache, Indonesian Embassy in Washington D.C. held the ‘International Seminar and Festival of Indonesian Music’ at Smithsonian Museum.
The seminar and festival led by HaryoWinarso, Education and Culture Attache, KBRI Washington D.C helped by Prof Andrew Clay McGraw and Prof Sumarsam, two experts of ethnomusicology from Richmond University and Wesleyan University, as the curators of the seminar and festival.
The international event presented twelve groups of gamelan from Indonesia and the United States of America, such as gamelan Anklung from Bacnell University, Gamelan Semarandana from Richmond University, gamelan Jawa fromWeslayen University and gamelan Bali Lightbulb, gamelantron Bali Project, and gamelan Semar Pagulingan from Cal Arts.