Nusantara Arts Launches the Bronze Campaign!

Click to Help Bring a Bronze Gamelan, and 180 Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppets to Buffalo

Nusantara Arts Bronze Campaign

Nusantara Arts has launched the Bronze Campaign to raise $40,000 in funds to locate, purchase, and ship a set of bronze Javanese gamelan music instruments from Indonesia to Buffalo, NY. We have located the instruments we are going to purchase with the help of Pak Wakidi, and are now in the fundraising phase. We have already raised $34,103. We are 85% to our goal! The gamelan will be ready to ship soon with your help.

Nusantara Arts currently uses the original iron instruments Matt Dunning traded a motorcycle for while living on Java in 2012 along with some additional instruments from Wonogiri purchased in 2017. These iron instruments are showing signs of wear equal to the amount of use they get. They are used triple duty for all performance, practice, and education activities.

Why Bronze?

Bronze instruments far surpass the quality and durability of our current iron instruments, and is the original material of gamelan production. Recycled iron is a less expensive modern substitute.

Bronze is an ancient alloy of copper and tin. The forging of bronze instruments is a skill steeped in tradition. Its sound quality and durability are incomparable. The beautiful instruments are built to last more than a lifetime, created to be passed down to future generations. We will purchase a second hand set of instruments to keep costs down and to maintain the integrity of tuning over a long period of time.

Bronze, as a copper alloy is naturally antimicrobial. Viruses and other pathogens can only live on its surface up to 4 hours. In the age of Covid, for a community music group to get back to any semblance of normal, a clean and sanitary environment is necessary. Making our group practice instruments safe is a top priority.

Why Now?

To create a sustainable future for our organization the time to make this purchase is now. The bronze set will permanently live at the Richmond Ferry Church Arts Complex when completed in January 2021. It will be used for both Covid Safe community music practices and digital performances, live audience performances when we can! The current iron set will become our travel, education, and instrument loan library gamelan. With an additional set of instruments we will greatly increase our music education offerings throughout the Western New York Region for all ages and abilities of music learners.

Players need better access to instruments for home practice to make the most of in person sessions. Gamelan is uniquely positioned to be a Covid Safe music education activity. It’s primarily percussion music, and can be played at a safe social distance.


Cost – $40,000

Raised so Far: $27,200

Includes gamelan instruments, box of wayang puppets, tuning, testing, packaging, ocean freight shipping, customs, transport in the US.


Fundraising/Locating Fall 2020

Purchasing Fall/Winter 2020

Ocean Shipping Early 2021


To make your tax deductible donation please use the online form below,

or make a check out to

“Nusantara Arts inc.” and mailed to:

Nusantara Arts, 345 W Ferry St. Buffalo, NY 14213

Donation Levels

Gong Ageng – $3,000
The “big gong” is the largest instrument in a gamelan, within it is contained the soul of the group. It makes a sound like the rolling waves of the sea.

Bonang – $1,500
The bonang is the leader of the balungan with two rows of bronze “pot gongs”. One of the most interesting looking gamelan instruments

Gendèr – $1,000
Beautiful showers of sound taking a simple melody and expanding it to its full potential.

Saron – $500
The recognizable slab key instruments of the “balungan” family. They play the core melody of a piece. Can be quite loud!

Kendhang – $250
Good Javanese hand drums are made of jack fruit wood. Difficult to master, they lead a gamelan in its irama or “time”, floating freely over the melody.

Rebab – $125
The voice of a gamelan, the bowed string instrument is made of wood and is relatively soft spoken, but if you listen to what it says you will find bliss.

Ocean Voyage – $6,000
Getting instruments from Java to Buffalo is serious. The gamelan will travel half way around the world on a freighter to arrive in Buffalo.

Or, Name your own Donation! Every donation to this campaign is accepted and helpful! thank you for being part of music history in Buffalo!

The Instruments

Pak Wakidi has located a wonderful set of instruments for us in Triyagan, outside of Surakarta, Indonesia. It’s full second hand set of slendro/pelog instruments made in Bekonang, central Java sometime around 2015. The group selling the instruments is kinda like ours actually, a community group. They have two gamelan, and will sell one so they can buy land to build a new pendopo for their community.

Kotak Wayang
(Box of puppets)

Part of our budget includes the cost of a box of wayang shadow puppets necessary to perform shadow puppet plays. Wayang Kulit is arguably the most famous form of Javanese gamelan outside of Java and is one of the most exciting performing arts we can offer the public.  Nusantara Arts was fortunate to perform two wayang kulit performances in 2019 at Kleinhans and Artpark with puppet master Darsono Hadiraharjo

However, the puppets that we used were borrowed from Wesleyan University along with the rest of the equipment. We don’t have access to these materials in normal circumstances. We would like to do more shadow puppet shows for our audience and the only way to really do that is to get our own box of puppets.

What’s in the Box?

The giant wooden box holds 175 wayang puppets. The characters and creatures in the box recreate stories from the Indian Mahabharata and Ramayana epic tales in Javanese style. There are depictions of humans, gods, monsters, ogres, animals, magical weapons, clowns, carriages, mountains, locations, and more.

These Puppets

These puppets currently belong to Ki Gandhung in Cawas, Klaten, Central Java who is the younger brother of Ki Tomo Pandoyo, one of the top 20 dhalang puppet masters in Indonesia. He comes from a family of puppet masters 10 generations long. The puppets are of superior quality and have been used in many performances. Ki Gandhung recently bought another box of puppets and is selling this one.