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Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan Symposium

June 5, 2022 @ 7PM ET

  • Livestream Online: Free to participate

This symposium, possibly the first of its kind, seeks to plumb the current state of international gamelan music creation today and in the future. Two panel discussions, across 3 time zones, took place on Sunday, June 5.

Roots and Offshoots – Gamelan in contemporary Indonesian music

June 5th 7:00pm to 8:30pm EDT – 4:00pm to 5:30 pm PDT – June 6th 7:00am to 8:30am WITA


  • Arya Deva Suryanegara (Bali/Canada), composer, performer – Université de Montreal
  • Iwan Gunawan (West Java) composer, performer, music educator, community leader
  • Sutrisno Hartana (Central Java/Canada), composer, musician, music educator, researcher – Simon Fraser University
  • Putu Hiranmayena (Bali/United States), composer, musician, musicologist – Grinnell College
  • Moderator: Sean Williams, Evergreen State College

Lost in Translation – What happens when instruments and musics are taken out of cultural contexts?

June 5th 9:00pm to 10:30pm EDT – 6:00pm to 7:30 pm PDT – June 6th 9:00am to 10:30am WITA


  • Leslie Tilley (Canada/United States), musicologist, music theorist – Massachussets Institute of Technology
  • Iwan Gunawan (West Java), composer, performer, music educator, community leader

  • Curtis Andrews (Canada), ethnomusicologist and performer

  • Juro Kim Feliz (Phillipines/Canada), composer, musicologist

  • Moderator: Menon Dwarka, Arts Consulting Group


An online event hosted by the Canadian Music Centre and Arraymusic, featuring scholars and practitioners from Indonesia, Canada, and the USA. The two online panels will explore these topics on Sunday, June 5 (June 6 in Indonesia). You are welcome to join in the discussion.

In the 133 years since Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel – among many thousands of other Europeans – first encountered Sundanese gamelan, wayang, angklung and dance at the 1889 Paris Exposition Universelle, the diverse musics of Indonesia has fascinated Western musicians. It was the excitement of first discovering Balinese gamelan music 78 RPM discs that inspired Canadian pianist, composer and researcher Colin McPhee to move to Bali in the 1930s. His pioneering work has inspired many others to study and more recently to perform on gamelan.Around 1960 gamelan courses began to be offered in universities in the US, and in Canada on the heels of Expo ’86 Vancouver the site of the First International Gamelan Festival and Symposium. These developments had several long-term impacts on a small cadre of American composers. It provided them hands-on opportunities to learn these musical cultures, as well as serving to embed composers and performers from various Indonesian regions in American academic and artistic circles.The first gamelan group in the country, Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan (ECCG) has pioneered a Canadian approach to exploring hybrid links between post-classical and world music. Founded in 1983, this professional eight-musician Toronto cooperative plays its own bespoke West Javanese-style degung. Its mandate includes commissioning new works by Canadian and international composers, as well as presenting new interpretations of Sundanese music. ECCG has a long history of inviting Sundanese and Javanese musicians, composers, puppeteers and dancers to work with the group live and in the recording studio. In 2002 ECCG toured three cities in Java with a Toronto-based modern dance company performing and engaging in workshops.What ethical issues arise in such cultural and professional interactions? For example, what is ECCG’s relationship to Toronto’s Indonesian community and to musicians and music scenes in Indonesia? What do Indonesian musicians think of ECCG and other “outsider” groups playing various types of gamelan? What are the many-facetted implications of playing – and creating gamelan music – outside its region of origin?Jointly organized by ECCG, Arraymusic, and the Canadian Music Centre, this online symposium will begin to engage these questions and explore the broader context of Evergreen’s pioneering work. Featuring practitioners and scholars from Indonesia, Canada and the USA, this symposium seeks to plumb the current state of international gamelan music creation today and in the future.