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Crosscurrents: Canadian Gamelan @ 40 with Guest Artist Iwan Gunawan

November 16, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 10:30 pm


Canada’s premiere gamelan music makers Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan (ECCG) has a long history of inviting Indonesian musicians as teachers, composers and performers to work with, reaching back to suling master Burhan Sukarma’s epochal 6-week residency in 1993.
This month ECCG is honoured to be joined by our latest guest composer-in- residence, Bandung-based composer and ensemble director Iwan Gunawan. He has inspired us with the deep history and grace of the degung tradition, as well as by his innovative new compositions we’re premièring at this concert.
Degung was originally a status symbol of the West Javanese courts. Differing significantly from the gamelan ensembles of Central Java and Bali, during the second half of the 20th century it became a symbol of modern Sundaneseness. By the 1980s however, degung was commonly heard as the accompaniment in Sundanese popular music on recordings.
On Nov. 16th, ECCG showcases classical degung klasik repertoire, arrangements of popular songs accompanied by degung such as Kalangkang, and contemporary works for the instruments by both Canadian and Indonesian composers.

“Gamelan music is often described as ‘static and traditional’. This is incorrect, for gamelan music merely describes a certain collection of instruments; the music itself constantly evolves.” (Iwan Gunawan)

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