Western to present gamelan recital April 11

WCU's Low Tech Ensemble performs traditional Javanese music on a gamelan, while Siti Kusujiarti, a sociology professor at Warren Wilson College who used to teach at WCU, demonstrates a traditional Indonesian dance.

WCU’s Low Tech Ensemble performs traditional Javanese music on a gamelan, while Siti Kusujiarti, a sociology professor at Warren Wilson College who used to teach at WCU, demonstrates a traditional Indonesian dance.

Western Carolina University’s most unusual musical group, the Low Tech Ensemble, will perform a concert of “gamelan” music on Wednesday, April 11, at 8 p.m.

The concert will take place in the studio theatre of the Fine and Performing Arts Center. It is free and open to the public, and after the performance the audience will be invited on the stage to inspect and play the instruments.

A gamelan is an orchestra of tuned percussion instruments that consists mainly of gongs, zithers and xylophones. The instruments that make up a gamelan originated in Indonesia and coastal Southeast Asia.

The concert will feature traditional music for Javanese gamelan performed under the leadership of Joy Shea. The group is performing on a bronze gamelan in pelog tuning owned by Shea. A resident of Jakarta, Indonesia, for 12 years, Shea has studied and played gamelan with some of the foremost instructors in the United States.

Siti Kusujiarti, a sociology professor at Warren Wilson College who used to teach at WCU, will join the group to demonstrate traditional Indonesian dance.

Seating in the studio theatre will be limited to about 100, so the audience is encouraged to come early.  Additional seating may be available on the floor in traditional Javanese style.

For more information, contact Will Peebles, WCU professor of music and leader of the Low Tech Ensemble, at (828) 227-3258 or via e-mail at wpeebles@wcu.edu.