The UT Javanese Gamelan Ensemble was established in 1998. The Javanese instrument manufacturer Suhirdjan built the instruments of our gamelan in Yogyakarta according to specifications provided by Professor Stephen Slawek. Named Kyahi Rosowibowo (“The Majestic One”) by visiting artist-in-residence Pak Rasito, our gamelan comprises instruments in complete sets in both slendro and pelog tunings. The metallophones were created from a pre-existing bronze gamelan. Kyahi Rosowibowo resides in a space in Music Building East that was created specifically for the gamelan instruments. More about the late Suhirdjan and his process of creating gamelan instruments can be learned at www.suhirdjan.com.
Professor Stephen Slawek currently directs the Javanese Gamelan Ensemble. While Professor Slawek’s primary specialization is in the music of India, he was fortunate to study the instruments of the Javanese gamelan under the direction of Pak Rasito Purwopangrawit, who was artist-in-residence at the Butler School of Music for several years between 1999 and 2012. Following Pak Rasito’s departure, Professor Slawek has worked to maintain the presence of the gamelan within the offerings of the ethnomusicology program.
The gamelan ensemble usually performs one end-of-semester concert each semester.
How to join
Full rehearsals are held once a week. Smaller groups meet an additional hour per week. All instruction and rehearsals take place in the spectacular gamelan room (MBE 3.306). Participation is open to all students and the general public. While no prior experience is required, regular attendance throughout the semester is essential.
For more information, please contact Prof. Stephen Slawek.