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Gamelan Pacifica Presents: Lou Harrison at 100 Years: The Seattle Connection
Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center
Seattle, WA
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Gamelan Pacifica Presents: Lou Harrison at 100 Years: The Seattle Connection
Gamelan Pacifica and Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet

Heather Bentley, viola and violin
Jennifer Caine Provine, violin
Paul Taub, flute
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
Maria Scherer Wilson, cello

Gamelan Pacifica honors the centenary of the great American composer Lou Harrison, widely considered one of America's most original musical innovators. This rare chance to experience a live performance of Harrison's works for gamelan and percussion will feature Gamelan Pacifica, Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet, and special guests.

Featured pieces: Harrison's "Concerto for Violin and Percussion Orchestra" and "Threnody for Carlos Chavez" for viola and gamelan.

Gamelan Pacifica celebrates a long history of involvement with Harrison and his music, dating back to 1980 when the group first gave a concert of his music for gamelan during his residency at Cornish College of the Arts. More recently, their recording Scenes from Cavafy (2010) includes premiere recordings of major works by Harrison, including "Concerto for Piano and Javanese Gamelan" and "A Soedjatmoko Set." Their most recent recording, Nourishment (2015), includes Harrisons Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Gamelan.

Gamelan performers: Maggie Brown . Michael Dorrity . Stephen Fandrich . Ted Gill . Austin Larkin . Deena Manis . Anna McDermott . Richard Robinson . Stephanie Shadbolt . Matt Shoemaker . Jesse Snyder . Astrid Vinje . Jarrad Powell, Director

* * *

Lou Harrison, considered one of Americas most original composers and musical innovators, was a polymath who engaged in painting, calligraphy, type design, and poetry. He was a leading figure, along with his friend John Cage, in a movement called Drums Along the Pacific that saw the development of percussion ensemble music in the 1930s and 1940s. That exploration provided new sonic resources for young composers and changed the course of American concert music. Harrison made a deep study of both European music and various non-western music, including music of China, Korea, and Indonesia. The latter lead him to begin to explore instrument building as a way of activating gamelan-like sounds in his music. Eventually he became a pioneer of gamelan building and composition for gamelan. He is aligned with other American maverick composers like Charles Ives, Edgard Varese, Carl Ruggles, Alan Hovhaness, Henry Cowell, and John Cage, who paved the way for the innovative American music of the 20th century. Harrison also actively championed political causes ranging from pacifism to environmentalism and gay rights. His music includes extensive chamber music, orchestral works, works for percussion, gamelan, as well as vocal music and two operas. He was an instrumental innovator, experimenting with percussion, tack piano, and gamelan, as well as non-western instruments.

Gamelan Pacifica is among the finest ensembles devoted to the performance of music for gamelan in the U.S. Formed in 1980, it has performed extensively in the Pacific Northwest, as well as Canada and throughout the U.S. Gamelan Pacifica is an active and adventurous ensemble, with a reputation for creating diverse productions merging traditional and contemporary musical forms with dance, theater, puppetry, and visual media. They have been guest performers at The Smithsonian Institute's Festival of Indonesia, New Music Across America Festival, Vancouver New Music Society, On the Boards, Walker Art Center, Performing Arts Chicago, and many others. In the Northwest they perform regularly and have appeared at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Town Hall, Cornish College of the Arts, the Seattle Art Museum, Evergreen State College, Centrum, Bumbershoot Festival, Arts in Nature Festival, University of Oregon, Whidbey Institute, CenterStage, and others. Visiting artists have included some of the most notable artists of Indonesia, including Heri Purwanto, Sutrisno Hartana, Wayan Sinti, Didik Nini Thowok, Sri Djoko Rahardja, I Made Sidia, Endo Suanda, Dedek Wahyudi, Goenawan Mohamad, and Tony Prabowo. Gamelan Pacifica's recordings, Trance Gong, Scenes from Cavafy, and Nourishment, have received international acclaim. Gamelan Pacifica is directed by noted composer and Cornish College of the Arts Professor Jarrad Powell. In addition to sponsoring the Javanese gamelan ensemble, Gamelan Pacifica is a well-respected non-profit arts organization that supports various programs and special projects relating to music and dance, with a special emphasis on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Gamelan Pacifica has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and Arts International. Gamelan Pacifica is currentIy supported in part by sustaining funds from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture.

Pacific Rims Percussion Quartet, formed in 1996, is comprised of Gunnar Folsom, Paul Hansen, Matthew Kocmieroski and Robert Tucker, leading players in new, chamber, and orchestral music, dance, theater, and film in the Pacific Northwest.  Performing music from the 1930s to the present, from Cage to Xenakis to Takemitsu to Reich to Roldan, as well as producing their own concerts, they have appeared with Sonora, Seattle Chamber Players, and Seattle Creative Orchestra, and on series such as Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society, Cornish Music Series, numerous appearances at the Seattle Asian Art Museum and at St. James Cathedral, where they helped celebrate Messiaens 100th birthday. Educational performances have included the Seattle Symphonys Tiny Tots series, Seattle Public Schools, and Imperials Percussion Festival, as well as working and performing with percussion students at Musicworks Northwest and student composers and choreographers at Cornish College of the Arts, resulting in the premiere of many new works.

More bios at


Chapel Performance Space at Good Shepherd Center (View)
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N, 4th Floor
Seattle, WA 98103
United States


Music > World

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: No
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Owner: Gamelan Pacifica
On BPT Since: Mar 12, 2017
Gamelan Pacifica

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