April 10, 2007

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Imagine a collection of brass percussion instruments – a xylophone, a gong, drums and kettles of various sizes. Picture musicians sitting cross-legged in front of each instrument, gracefully striking each in time to a non-Western musical beat. Hear the Indonesian melodies provide a musical backdrop to visualize a flight of birds or singing turtledoves or forest echoes.

This is a performance of Bucknell's Gamelan Banteng Lembah or "Buffalo Valley Gamelan," to be presented Thursday, April 19, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell.

The informal performance, which is free and open to the public, will include a brief introduction to the instruments and explanation of their performance patterns as well as a "hands-on" opportunity for audience members to examine the instruments after the performance.

One of three in Pennsylvania

The Buffalo Valley Gamelan, one of only three in Pennsylvania, features percussion instruments, including the saron (xylophone), bonang (kettles), gongs, and tuned drums to create the unique sound.

The gamelan is an ideal instrument for students learning the basics of Eastern music. "It is a window into one non-Western tradition that is opened fairly quickly and easily," said Jackson Hill, professor of music at Bucknell who established the ensemble.

The Bucknell Gamelan is directed this semester by Lisa Jenkins, a member of the music faculty at Penn State, and Bucknell senior William Andrew Burnson, the ensemble's student leader.

The instruments for Bucknell's Gamelan were obtained as the result of a gift from Bucknell alumna Dorothy Seesholtz Mullestein, Class of 1948. The instruments were made in Indonesia and shipped to Lewisburg in the summer of 2004.

Bucknell's Gamelan Banteng Lembah: "Buffalo Valley Gamelan"

Posted April 10, 2007

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