Indonesian music group, GAMELAN CUDAMANI, returns to Chicago to perform at the Harris Theatre as part of the 2019 World Music Festival
Friday, September 27
Harris Theater for Music and Dance
205 E. Randolph St.
This is not the first time Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) has invited Indonesian CUDAMANI to perform in Chicago- thrilling both Chicagoans and the group alike, as you can read in this Picture this Post (PTP) interview with Cudamani’s spokesman, (DPB) Dewa Putu Berata. Artistic Director.
(PTP) Many Chicagoans think of the World Music Festival as a way to see and hear the world without a passport. What would you most like Chicagoans to know and appreciate about your culture and how your music is a part of it?
(DPB ) We love our culture, we love our village and we love each other.
Playing music and dancing is a spiritual practice, we play music and dance in temples for the gods- but we also play music for the people and for each other. The fact that outsiders can appreciate and enjoy our music and dance is fantastic, we love this…but what we play on stage is exactly what we would play in our village, and the way we feel about our music and dance on an American stage is exactly what we feel in our village….
Please tell our readers about your group—how many musicians? What instruments to they play?
We are bringing 17 artists to the Harris Theater this time. All our musicians can dance and all of our dancers can play gamelan. We are unique in this way.
The music we play is called GAMELAN. Various shapes and sizes of bronze instruments from our most precious is the large deep gong to the small cymbals suspended on a hand carved turtle. Precision interlocking playing is our forte—because we have played together since we were children, we are in sync in every way, including our music and dance.
How did your group come together? What is the background of each of the performers in your group?
Gamelan Cudamani was formed 22 years ago as a wish to create a ensemble dedicated to learning, creating and praying (through music/dance0 together) my brother Dewa Rai, my wife Emiko Susilo and few other players are among the original members of this group. Other players were trained by us and over the years have graduated into our ‘professional’ ensemble. Just so you know, we do not get paid to perform in Bali- our work is for the education of our children and in service of our temples and village, therefore, none of us earn a living playing for Cudamani. Most of us live in the same village and have known each other since we were kids.
Other comments for our readers to let them know about your group, your sound and what you would like them to know about you?
Coming to the United States is a dream for most Indonesians. Very few people can afford and even fewer are invited. As musicians and dancers we are so moved that American audiences appreciate and applaud so strong at our performances, To see them rise to their feet and shout out is a thrill--- you see in Bali people do not applaud….especially in the temple. We are sharing a most precious legacy of our Balinese Culture. For many of us, our parents and grandparents were performer… it is way of life that is harder to sustain in our modern world, so what could be a more precious affirmation than performing at the Harris Theater in Chicago?
For more information visit the Cudamani website.
2019 CUDAMANI TOURING – Final
Photos by Giancarlo Galavotti and OSCAR Smith