This concert remembers the passing in 2015 of Pak Hardja Susilo, the founding director of the University of Hawai‘i Gamelan Ensemble.
When a Javanese person passes away, it is customary for family and friends to observe a series of official commemorations, the last occurring one thousand days after the passing. These observances consist of various rituals and activities with the last one sometimes including a performance of gamelan music, dance, or even a shadow play. This is especially the case when the person was of high status or was a musician, dancer, or puppeteer. While this concert is held a few weeks after the thousand day mark, it is our way to additionally honor Pak Susilo by celebrating his life through music and dance.
The concert will feature the Javanese gamelan Kyai Gandrung and the Balinese gamelan Segara Madu, and include performances by members of the Susilo family and other visiting friends.
The gamelan program at UH began in 1970 with the arrival of both the Javanese gamelan Kyai Gandrung and Pak Susilo, who directed the ensemble as a member of the Music Department’s ethnomusicology faculty until his retirement in 1999, and then on a voluntary basis until 2015.
Pak Sus taught both Javanese gamelan and Javanese dance, directed many dance-drama performances and gamelan concerts, and inspired generations of students, many of whom continue to play gamelan today at various locations worldwide.
Following the 1990 gift to the Music Department of the Balinese gamelan Segara Madu, Pak Susilo also helped establish a Balinese gamelan ensemble.
Over the years, Pak Sus welcomed visiting master musicians and dancers from both Bali and Java to Hawai‘i to provide additional training for the ensembles. The current ensembles carry forward the Hawai‘i gamelan tradition established by Pak Hardja Susilo.
The concert is cosponsored by University of Hawaii at Manoa Music Department and the Hawaii Gamelan Society.
Tickets at the door: $12 general admission; $8 UH faculty/staff/students and seniors (65+); UHM music majors free. Concert is eligible for Mus 199 concert attendance credit.