Garasi Seni Benawa gamelan – Rahayu Supanggah (Prof. Dr.) director
The Garasi Seni Benawa ensemble from Surakarta is known for the particularly rich timbre of its gamelan. The ensemble specialises in cokekan, a little known style that is very different to the gamelan that is usually heard in Europe. The intoxicating voices of the three singers soar above the orchestra of gongs, percussion, gender, rebab , flutes and zithers. For EUROPALIA INDONESIA, two dalangs (puppeteers) will be accompanying the concert with a shadow theatre performance.
The ensemble is conducted by the famous composer and ethnomusicologist Rahayu Supanggah. Born in 1949 in central Java to a family of traditional puppeteers, he has been exposed to Javanese art and culture since birth. He is a master of the traditional karawitan gamelan and is also a leading pioneer of contemporary Indonesian music, endlessly experimenting with new sounds, genres and musical instruments of his own invention. He has played in more than 40 countries and with such internationally renowned artists as Robert Wilson and The Kronos Quartet.