I have a good friend in Bali named Wayan Kaler Aryasa. He is a curator at the Bali Arts Centre, the government center for art in Denpasar. He is concerned about the loss of knowledge due to the passing of older teachers in the oral tradition of Balinese music instruction. Already some of Wayan's most knowledgeable teachers of his youth have passed on with no documentation of their vast knowledge other than their student's memories.If someone has the resources or the knowledge of where they can be found, maybe something can be done. With Wayan Kaler's very limited resources he has been able to purchase a handycam and has been documenting these people on his own to try to capture the precious resources that will soon be lost with their passing. I'm sure someone in the academic community could find a life's work in this endeavor.Please get in touch with me if you can help or if you know someone who can. This would be a great project for an ethnomusicology grad and a filmstudent. Write a grant and get some work done that will truly effect our knowledge of this wonderful art form! If you know of people interested in this project or possible positions toteach Balinese dance and music in the U.S. please let me know (this isWayan's dream, to teach in the U.S.) or contact him directly.Wayan Kaler Aryasa's address is,I Wayan Kaler Aryasa, SSn
Bali Arts Centre
Jl Nusa Indah Denpasar 80235
Republic of Indonesia
Email. email@example.comThank you,
A friend of mine, Nicole Lewis, who is studying music in Bali at themoment, writes the following:Michael,
I don't know if you already know about this but I thought it was prettycool.
This year for the Gong Festival there will be three groups withmandatory co-ed gamelans (minimun 10 women). Tabanan, Gianyar, andDenpasar. Nyoman says that Sekar Jaya's appearance in June played a partin the decision making. Hesays it's gila, I say it's bagus!!!When I was talking to Nyoman about it, he didn't say anything about ahandicap, he actually thought that they chose those regions because theywould be the only places to find competent female players since they aresuch musically active regions. He also mentioned that the groups thathave women in the more prominent positions of the orchestra would begetting better scores.The Nyoman she refers to is her teacher, son of Ketut Kumpul in Pindha. Ithink this is a great thing and fascinating! In the past I have seen co-edgroups, but only with one or two women, and on the simpler parts.Michael
Call for Expressions of InterestAustralian arts organisations and projects interested in working with Indonesian artists and arts managers are invited to register with Asialink. We are looking for small to medium scale organisations or projects as well as individual mentors who have the capacity to work collaboratively and host a visiting artist or arts manager for periods of approximately 3 months. The current program will involve personnel from Indonesia over the next three years. For further information, please contact Susan Strano at Asialink.
Phone: 613 9349.
Fax: 613 93471768.
I just want to express my weariness at explaining to friends, aquaintances and Indonesian people in general why I think it's not OK to do terrible things to Chinese Indonesians or to continually badmouth them as a matter of course. It seems that non-Chinese Indonesians (I detest the word 'pribumi' [indigenous Indonesian or 'son of the earth'] -what does it mean? Is a Batak woman a 'pribumi' in a Sundanese village? Is a Javanese man a pribumi in the West Papuan highlands? It's just a reall cheap and sneaky way of saying a non-Chinese Indonesian. We never talk that way about Arab-Indonesians or Indian-Indonesians or even the mixed race European/Indonesians who dominate our TV screens ...) often have no feelings of empathy with Chinese people.They serve as a very convenient scapegoat for all the things that us PRIBUMIS have f***ed up without anyone else's help... It's telling that out of the double-act of Bob Hasan and Soeharto, it's Hasan who's ended up in jail (however happy I might be to see him there and however genuine his serving of time may be!) and not his 'pribumi' chum. Non-Chinese Indonesians often talk with bitterness about Chinese people "running away" oversees at the first sign of trouble. One of the very basic things a country owes all its citizens is some kind of guarantee of their personal security. If the state and the majority population clearly can't offer Chinese-Indonesians (or any ethnic or religious minority here) anything apporaching that kind of guarantee then good luck to them I say. If some of them have made enough money to be able to pick themselves up and find a safer place to raise their kids then who can begrudge them that?I'm also weary of the almost complete lack of rule of law in my country. Today the streets of Jakarta were empty because of the fear of imminent violence..... Where are they all? Is the whole of the population of Jakarta scared of a mob of hyped up fanatics who've come here on a train trip? The answer is clearly yes... Fanaticism, religous and political, is on the rise. Clubs and cafes where people go to have some fun and escape the reality of everyday life which can often be too much to swallow are burnt down with no arrests.Something more connected to art... in the film Basquiat, there is a scene where an art journalist describes Basquiat as the first important 'black' artist. Basquiat replies, "Are you a white writer, or just a writer".I've noticed that as an artist who uses her Batak marga [clan name], I very often listen to someone reeling off the names of the other Batak artists they know of. What is that?Horas!
29th April 2001