Pitt’s University Gamelan will present “Inspired by Gamelan: Music by Indonesian and Western Composers” on April 8th at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium. Gamelan comprises mainly percussion instruments including tuned gongs, metal-keyed instruments, and drums (as well as bamboo flute and voice). This instrumentation has a unique capacity to saturate the air with resonances that reach from rumbling lows to shimmering highs. The concert will feature student performers and two artists-in-residence: Endang Sukandar and Endang Rukandi.
Tickets in advance: general admission is $8.50; non-Pitt students and seniors are $5. At the door: general admission is $12; non-Pitt students and seniors are $8. Pitt students: free with valid ID. Call 412-624-7529 or visit music.pitt.edu/tickets.
Endang Sukandar (b. 1961) is considered one of Bandung’s leading musicians and teachers of traditional performing arts. He began learning the suling (bamboo flute) at age 14 and was inspired by the playing of Achmad Suandi and Burhan Sukarma. Mr. Sukandar is well-known for creating new suling techniques and for developing a method of teaching that enables his students to learn quickly and proficiently. He has served as a coach and teacher of traditional West Javanese musical instruments (especially suling) to generations of Indonesian youth and to international students and PhDs from England, America, and Australia. Mr. Sukandar has travelled to perform and teach overseas, bringing with him a mission of sharing West Javanese and Indonesian arts to France, Belgium, the Netherlands (1988, 1991, and 1993), Australia (1994), and to South Korea upon the request of the Indonesian Ambassador to South Korea (1997 and 1998). He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including: first place in wind instruments of West Java, Jakarta and Banten in 1991; 2nd place out of 25 countries in traditional wind instruments at the F'ri Festival in South Korea; and winner of the best instrumental music award from the Indonesian TV station Indosair. Mr. Sukandar has produced nearly 50 musical recordings featuring a variety of West Javanese musical instruments including: kacapi, suling, gamelan degung, and Sundanese songs. Mr. Sukandar currently resides in Bandung with his wife and children and works at RRI (Radio Republic Indonesia) in music broadcasting and entertainment programming. He continues to perform and record and remains one of the most sought-after musicians in contemporary West Java.
Endang Rukandi is a master of the regional music of West Java, Indonesia. The son of a village musician, Endang's first performance leading a gamelan, or traditional Indonesian music ensemble, was in the second grade. Since then, he has studied music at two of Indonesia's foremost art universities (STSI Bandung and ISI Denpasar) and instructed Indonesian music. He played with internationally recognized music groups such as SambaSunda and Jugala in festivals in countries including Egypt, Japan, Australia, China, Singapore, the US, and the UK. He currently leads the group Gamelan Eruna in Morro Bay, California.