MUSIC FROM THIS CONCERT
>>Click on each piece below for links to MP3 uploads
Inaugural Yale University Concert
January 26, 2008
Ki Midiyanto - UC Berkeley
Ki Sumarsam - Wesleyan University
Sarah Weiss, Director
* Visiting Artist
Gamelan Suprabanggo wishes to
thank: Council on Southeast Asia Studies, Department of Music, Yale
School of Music, Yale Chaplain's Office, Robert Blocker, Diane Brown,
Jon Butler, Tom Duffy, Joe Errington, Dan Harrison, Hendrati, Pat
McCreless, Midiyanto, Kris Mooseker, Linette Norbeau, and Barbara
Wedyasmara, Laras Pelog Pathet Lima
The word laras means scale and the word pathet is best translated
as mode. This short piece is in the pelog scale and the mode - lima
- is the one with the lowest range. Concerts usually begin in the
lowest modes and progress through to the highest ones, alternating
from one scale to the other. Ketawang Wedyasmara features a mixed
chorus. It was written by Ki Tjokrowasito (alm) - a Javanese musician
and teacher who taught for many years at California Institute for
the Arts and who recently died at the age of more than 100 years.
The name of this piece translates as 'the mentioning of love.'
and Remarks: Sarah Weiss, Director, Yale Gamelan
Kocak minggah Ladrang Diradameta, Laras Slendro Pathet Nem
Randhukentir minggah Ladrang Ayun-Ayun Gobyogan, Langgam Yen Ing Tawang,
Laras Pelog Pathet Nem
This piece is often used for the accompaniment of scenes in wayang
kulit or shadow puppet performance. The piece is in two sections
of different lengths. The slow moving flow of the core metallophones
in the first section speeds up transitioning into the second section
or minggah which is characterized by some double time movement in
the main melody and finishes with a Suwuk Gropak - a crashing finish.
Kocak means something that is brimming over such as a bowl of liquid
or when eyes seem to spill over with one's internal light. Diradameta
means angry elephant. The end of this piece might invoke elephants
rampaging through a forest.
This piece is actually a suite comprised of a slower but playful first
section which transitions to a seemingly faster dance piece using
ciblonan or dance-drumming. Ayun-ayun means swaying and both the melody
and the dancer's hips, should she be dancing, sway in this piece.
Occasionally the melody speeds up and the gongs interrupt the melody.
This is the Gobyogan. After Ayun-ayun has finished there will be a
Bawa or male solo which serves to introduce the Langgam Yen Ing Tawang.
Langgam are melodies that come out of the popular song tradition called
kroncong that was developed in Jakarta over the course of the 19th
and 20th centuries and is strongly associated with Indonesian nationalism.
Originally accompanied by a string band, the accompaniment and language
have been Javanized.
Sinom Parijatha, Ayak-ayakan, Srepegan Laras Slendro Pathet Sanga
This short piece begins with a buka celuk, or vocal introduction.
The pasindhen or female singer intones the first line of a verse
in the poetic meter called Sinom and the rest of the ensemble joins
her after she has sung the first line. The male chorus sings the
lines in steady tempo while the pasindhen ornaments and delays her
arrivals at the goal pitches. This kind of delay is heard to varying
degrees in the suling or flute and in the rebab or bowed lute as
well. The ketawang transitions to a sequence of pieces in which
the gongs play more frequently. These last two pieces in the suite
are from the wayang repertoire.
Wilujeng Laras Pelog Pathet Barang
This piece is used to welcome guests and assure success to a gathering
of any kind. Wilujeng means prosperity and good fortune in Javanese.
Lobong minggah Kinanti, Ladrang Kembang Pépé, Laras
Slendro Pathet Manyura
Another suite, the first part of this piece has two sections, the
second of which incorporates andegan or stoppings, during which
the pasindhen sings a solo line and invites the rest of the ensemble
to begin again. The second part of the suite features a large mixed
chorus singing verses in the Kinanti poetic meter. In the last section
the chorus continues using a different meter and filling in with
nonsense syllables such as ba and bo.
How did Gamelan Suprabanggo Come to Yale?
With funds provided by the Yale Council on Southeast
Asia Studies, and through the efforts of Yale Department of Music
faculty and staff, this ensemble was purchased from Ki Midiyanto
- Central Javanese dhalang and long time teacher at UC-Berkeley.
The instruments were shipped from Wonogiri, Indonesia where they
had been used regularly for wayang and klenengan performances over
the course of several years. Shipped by sea, the instruments arrived
on campus in November 2006 and were unpacked by student volunteers
in December. Before it left Java, the ensemble was named Gamelan
Suprabanggo, a word formed from the names of the sons of Ki Midiyanto
(Supraba and Anggo). In spring semester 2007, Sarah Weiss began
teaching Yale's first seminar on the history, theory, aesthetics,
cultural contexts and performance of Javanese karawitan or gamelan
music. In addition to their intellectual work, the students who
take the seminar participate as members of the performance ensemble
which also includes students from around the university and Yale
staff, as well as New Haven community members and students. The
ensemble currently meets weekly on Wednesday evenings at 7:00pm
in the basement of Hendrie Hall (165 Elm Street). The Yale College
seminar will be taught once every two years. If you are interested
in performing with the ensemble contact Sarah Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>.