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Aloysius Suwardi: Planet Harmonik
Composer, instrument-maker and gamelan expert Aloysius Suwardi presents his Planet Harmonik project for the first time outside of his native Indonesia.
Bringing together a host of self-made instruments – from giant gambang xylophones, to motorised metallophones and hydraulic water-filled bamboo flutes – Suwardi’s Planet Harmonik takes its inspiration from the Pythagorean theory of musica universalis, or the Music of the Spheres. It’s the idea that the proportional relationship between planets is equivalent to the relationship between musical notes – that the Sun, the Moon and Earth all emit their own tone. And like the planets, it’s a piece that moves with grace despite its complexity, rooted in the rich history of gamelan while also looking to the future.
This performance is part of a series of shows presented in association with EUROPALIA, who are leading an exploration of the contemporary cultural scene of Indonesia. Aloysius Suwardi studied gamelan music at high school conservatory (Kokar) then at the Akademi Seni Karawitan Indonesia (ASKI, college conservatory) in Surakarta. He completed his MA in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, USA in 1997 and performed and teached in new music festivals all over the world.