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  • Writer's pictureSOUNDWEAVERS

S1. E22. I Ketut Gede Asnawa

June 23, 2021


Balinese performer and composer I Ketut Gede Asnawa joins us to discuss his work with Balinese gamelan music in Indonesia and the United States. We explore the varieties of gamelan music throughout Indonesia and how gamelan music is integrated throughout Balinese culture through the 5 sacred yadnya. Pak shares with us the central role that community plays in gamelan ensembles and the work that he has done to bring that same sense of community into his classroom at the University of Illinois. And we discuss the challenges of teaching a primarily aural music tradition within the context of a Western culture that relies heavily on sheet music for performance.


I Ketut Gede Asnawa is a composer, performer, and scholar from Bali, Indonesia. He has taught at the government-sponsored secondary- and tertiary-level conservatories of Balinese music since 1980. His compositions have been featured at the Festival of Young Composers in Jakarta and the annual Bali Arts Festival. His importance as a cutting-edge composer and innovator in Balinese music was recognized in Grove Music Online. An accomplished gamelan musician, Asnawa has toured Europe, the US, and Asia. A demanding but charismatic teacher, he has taught gamelan groups at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (where he earned a Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology), Université de Montréal, Eastman School of Music, University of Missouri Kansas City, Florida State University, Texas Women University, Richmond University, Illinois Wesleyan University, Gettysburg College, Miami University at Oxford, OH, as well as private gamelan groups Giri Kusuma in Woodstock, NY, Sekar Jaya, CA, Indonesian Performing Arts of Chicago, Chicago Balinese Gamelan, and the Netherlands. In 2017, he received the Dharma Kusuma Art Award and Gold Medal from the Governor of Bali in recognition of his life - long dedication and contribution to Bali’s culture of arts, most notably in Gamelan music. Since Fall 2006, he has taught various styles of Balinese gamelan as a faculty member in the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and most recently served as an artistic adviser for Chicago Balinese Gamelan.


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1.22 I Ketut Gede Asnawa Transcript
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