University of Pittsburgh
March 22, 2004

Annual Pitt Gamelan Ensemble Concert To Feature Indonesian Puppetry


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh Gamelan Ensemble will perform the rich and exotic musical sounds of Indonesia during its annual concerts at 8 p.m. April 9 and 10 in Bellefield Hall Auditorium, 315 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for students and senior citizens, and free to Pitt students with a valid I.D. For more information, call 412-624-4125.

The gamelan is a 20-piece collection of large and small gongs, chimes, drums,

metal-keyed instruments, as well as a xylophone and fiddle—custom made in Java, the main island of Indonesia—and shipped to Pitt in 1995. Members of the University Gamelan Ensemble sit cross-legged on the stage floor and strike the instruments with padded mallets, producing the rich and enchanting music of Java.

This year's performance, under the direction of Pitt Assistant Professor of Music Andrew Weintraub, will accompany a traditional Indonesian puppet show. Special guests include Otong Rasta, a renowned gamelan performer, and his son, Atik Rasta, a drummer and puppeteer who uses elaborately carved and painted wooden puppets to tell stories of love and honor. There are 12 members of the University Gamelan Ensemble, including students from Pitt, Carnegie Mellon University, and members of the community. The event is cosponsored by Pitt's Asian Studies Center and Indo-Pacific Council.