Cornish Presents Gamelan Pacifica

SEATTLE, WA – A favorite for more than 30 years, the adventurous Javanese gamelan ensemble Gamelan Pacifica, under the direction of noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell, performs "Pangkur" with special guest Megan O’Donoghue-Williams on Dec. 3 at Cornish’s PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy Street.

The fundamental connection between sung poetry and instrumental composition is at the heart of gamelan music. The process of translating sung poetry into gamelan gendhing (structures used in Javanese gamelan music) can be complex and obscure. Yet the connections can be sensed and revealed. This concert will feature several manifestations of pangkur, an important Javanese poetic form, as an aspect of revealing and celebrating this truly universal connection between poetry and music.

Gamelan Pacifica is joined for this concert by Megan O’Donoghue-Williams as psindhen (female soloist who sings with the gamelan). A graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, O’Donoghue-Williams trained as a classical vocalist before pursuing the art of psindhen and becoming a noted performer throughout Indonesia for her performances in wayang (shadow puppet theater).

Gamelan Pacifica is among the finest ensembles devoted to the performance of music for gamelan in the U.S. Formed in 1980, it has performed extensively in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and throughout the United States. This active and adventurous ensemble has a reputation for creating diverse productions merging traditional and contemporary musical forms with dance, theater, puppetry, and visual media. They have been guest performers at The Smithsonian Institute's Festival of Indonesia, New Music Across America Festival, Vancouver New Music Society, On the Boards, Walker Art Center, Performing Arts Chicago, and many others. In the Northwest they perform regularly and have appeared at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Town Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, Evergreen State College, Centrum, Bumbershoot Festival, Arts in Nature Festival, University of Oregon, Whidbey Institute, CenterStage, and others. Visiting artists have included some of the most notable artists of Indonesia, including Heri Purwanto, Sutrisno Hartana, Wayan Sinti, Didik Nini Thowok, Sri Djoko Rahardja, I Made Sidia, Endo Suanda, Dedek Wahyudi, Goenawan Mohamad, and Tony Prabowo. Gamelan Pacifica's recordings, Trance Gong and Nourishment, have received international acclaim. Gamelan Pacifica is directed by noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell. In addition to sponsoring the Javanese gamelan ensemble, Gamelan Pacifica is a well-respected non-profit arts organization that supports various programs and special projects relating to music and dance, with a special emphasis on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Gamelan Pacifica has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and Arts International. Gamelan Pacifica is currentIy supported in part by sustaining funds from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture. More information at

Cornish Presents Gamelan Pacifica
Dec, 3, 8 p.m.
PONCHO Concert Hall, 710 East Roy Street

Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 seniors and $10 students (with ID) and $5 Teen Tix (members only). Tickets are available online and by phone at Brown Paper Tickets, 1.800.838.3006.

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