The Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble
The Sumunar Gamelan Ensemble is the adult performance group of the Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota (IPAAM); the Sumunar Dance Ensemble and the Sumunar Youth Gamelan Ensemble complete the roster. The
IPAAM program also includes community classes, workshops, workplace events, and school residencies for students from kindergarten through college. Joko Sutrisno, Javanese gamelan performer, composer, and teacher, directs the program. His wife, Tri Sutrisno, directs the dance component.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul gamelan program was initiated in 1995 by The Schubert Club, which brought Joko from New Zealand as director. In 2002 responsibility for the
program transferred to IPAAM, a non-profit formed for the purpose. “Sumunar,” Javanese for “glowing light,” has recently been adopted as its performing group name. A number of musicians in the ensemble have been members since its beginning days, attesting to the satisfaction and enjoyment derived through gamelan music making.
The Sumunar Ensemble (at that time The Schubert Club Gamelan) was closely involved with procurement of the National Music Museum instruments (see below); the group performed when they arrived and also at the subsequent naming ceremony. The musicians were deeply touched by the glorious sound produced by this especially high-quality gamelan, and have long cherished the hope that someday they could record repertoire for a CD. The Sumunar Ensemble is proud and gratified to introduce the superb sound of gamelan Kyai Rengga Manis Everist to the listening world through time-honored traditional pieces along with several new compositions by its director.
Gamelan Kyai Rengga Manis Everist
The most complete and beautiful set of gamelan instruments outside of the palaces of Java was commissioned in 1999 by the National Music Museum, supported by funding from Margaret Ann Everist, former museum trustee. Joko Sutrisno was given the task of seeking out an appropriate maker and arranging for its construction. It was built by the fifth-generation gamelan company, Supoyo, in central Java. Supoyo is also conservator for all gamelans at ISI, the most prominent institute of higher education for Indonesian arts, located in Surakarta.
The gamelan arrived in Vermillion, South Dakota in 2000. Joko was asked to create a name appropriate to its sound and character. Kyai Rengga Manis Everist was bestowed at a
naming ceremony at the Museum in April 2003. (CD booklet contains further information.)
This CD contains two computer-accessible \"enhanced\" sections: 1) photos of the recording session at the National Museum, and 2) photos (from the museum website)and descriptions of the individual gamelan instruments used in the recording--a very useful pedagogical resource.
The 16-page booklet accompanying the CD supplies further information relevant to all aspects of the material.