The Music of Java (Javanese Gamelan) and Music of Thailand ensembles will perform traditional music highlighting their shared cultural history. Students of master Javanese musician Pak Djoko Walujo will perform Central Javanese gamelan, a percussion-dominated musical ensemble featuring tuned bronze gongs, bronze metallophones, and drums, along with flutes, zither, vocals, and spike fiddle. Venerable Dark Cloud, the name of UCLA’s Javanese gamelan, is one of the first sets of non-Western instruments that renowned UCLA ethnomusicologist Mantle Hood brought back to the United States.
In honor of the historical musical exchange between Indonesia and Thailand, the Music of Java Ensemble will perform a composition that originated in Thailand, Ladrang Siyem (Siam). Immediately following, the Music of Thailand Ensemble, led by Supeena Insee Adler, will perform the Java Overture, a well-known Thai composition inspired by gamelan music from Indonesia. The Music of Thailand Ensemble was founded by David Morton, who was a student of Mantle Hood while he was at UCLA. The Music of Thailand Ensemble performance will feature dance and singing accompanied by instruments including gong circles, xylophones, flute and stringed instruments, such as three-stringed zither, two-stringed fiddle and three-stringed spike fiddle.