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Laras Madya

Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 8:00 p.m.

PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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Gamelan Pacifica is joined by vocal ensemble Canzonetta, led by Jessika Kenney, and special guest Javanese musician Heri Purwanto.

Photo courtesy of Gamelan Pacifica

Gamelan Pacifica, directed by Jarrad Powell, is joined by vocal ensemble Canzonetta for this concert featuring choral music from the Javanese tradition, with an emphasis on the wonderful settings of Javanese poetry known as Laras Madya. The concert will feature special guest artist Heri Purwanto, a highly respected teacher and performer from Central Java and master musician of the Javanese gamelan.

Heri Purwanto, a highly respected teacher, performer, and master musician of the Javanese gamelan, comes from a family of musicians in Wonogiri, Central Java. After graduating from the college level academy (now Institut Seni Indonesia) in Surakarta, Central Java, at the top of his class in 2000, he taught gamelan at the University of California-Berkeley, from 2001 to 2004 and directed the Berkeley based ensemble Gamelan Sari Raras. Since returning to Java in 2004, Heri has continued his work as an artist, building and running an arts studio in his community as well as performing as a musician throughout Indonesia, in Singapore, and in Thailand. His first visit to Seattle was in 2011, when he was brought by the University of Washington School of Music as part of the UW Visiting Artist Program in Ethnomusicology. Heri was brought back to Seattle this spring by the University of Washington School of Music, where he is currently in residence.

Originally formed in 1980, Gamelan Pacifica has a reputation for creating diverse productions that merge traditional and contemporary musical forms with dance, theater, puppetry, and visual media. The ensemble has been a guest performer at the Smithsonian Institution’s Festival of Indonesia, the New Music across America Festival, the Vancouver New Music Society, On the Boards, and the Walker Art Center. In the Northwest, it performs regularly and has appeared at venues including the University of Washington, Seattle University, Town Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, Evergreen State College, Centrum, and the Bumbershoot Festival. Some of the most notable artists of Indonesia have been guests of the group, including Sutrisno Hartana, Wayan Sinti, and Didik Nini Thowok. Gamelan Pacifica’s album Trance Gong (O. O. Discs) has received international acclaim. The ensemble is directed by noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell. Gamelan Pacifica is a respected non-profit arts organization that supports various programs and special projects relating to music and dance, with an emphasis on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. It has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Arts International, and is currently supported in part by sustaining funds from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and 4Culture.

Canzonetta is an a cappella group of 12 singers that was originally an offshoot of the Northwest Chamber Chorus. Featuring music from nearly all genres and styles, the ensemble is dedicated to bringing to life, lesser known choral works as well as gems from the more established repertoire. All of the members are avid choral singers with concurrent memberships in numerous choral organizations in the greater Puget Sound area. In May, 2015, the group will be performing in Italy as part of a tour visiting and performing in the footsteps of Claudio Monteverdi, the great Italian composer of the late Renaissance/early Baroque eras. Roger Nelson has been the artistic director of the group since 2002.

Funded by
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.


PONCHO Hall, 710 East Roy Street, Seattle, WA

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