Nusantara Arts Bronze Campaign
It was audacious! It was exciting! It was fun! And we couldn’t have done it without you! Nusantara Arts is overjoyed to announce that we have met our Bronze Campaign goal of $40,000! Our new gamelan and 197 wayang kulit shadow puppets are now being crated for the ocean voyage. We’ll welcome them to Buffalo in September 2021. Contact us to hear about upcoming events featuring these new instruments!
Achieving our goal was only possible thanks to our generous community and donors like you! We look forward to the wonderful sounds and stories that will come from these instruments, our gamelan community, and you for many years to come.
Nusantara Arts launched the Bronze Campaign to raise $40,000 in 2020 to locate, purchase, and ship a set of bronze Javanese gamelan music instruments and set of 197 wayang kulit shadow puppets from Indonesia to Buffalo, NY. We located the instruments with the help of Pak Wakidi, one of the foremost Javanese drummers of all time.
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 purchased a second hand set of instruments to keep costs down, to maintain the integrity of tuning over a long period of time, as well as to keep the carbon footprint of the project as low as possible.
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.
To create a sustainable future for our organization the time to make this purchase is now. The bronze set will permanently live at our home base. It will be used for community music practices, digital performances, live audience performances, and in house educational opportunities. Our current iron set will become the main 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.
Cost – $40,000
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
Arriving in Buffalo, September 2021
Pak Wakidi of Sanggar Ekalaya located a wonderful set of instruments for us in Triyagan, outside of Surakarta, Indonesia. It’s full second hand slendro/pelog set bronze instruments made in Bekonang, Central Java sometime around 2015. The group selling the instruments is 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.
(Box of puppets)
Part of our budget included 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 nearly 200 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 belonged to Ki Gandhung (alm) 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 bought another box of puppets and decided to sell this one. Sadly, soon after we purchased these puppets Ki Gandhung passed away from an illness. We will use these puppets honoring his memory.
Ocean Voyage – $7,000+
Getting instruments from Java to Buffalo is serious. The gamelan will travel half way around the world on a freighter to arrive in Buffalo.
American Indonesian Cultural and Educational Foundation (AICEF)
Gong Ageng: $3,000 – $5,999
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.
Martin F. Hatch
Rich Family Foundation
The Simple Gifts Fund
Bonang: $1,500 – $2,999
The bonang is the leader of the balungan with two rows of bronze “pot gongs”. One of the most recognizable Javanese gamelan instruments
Gendèr: $1,000 – $1400
Beautiful showers of sound taking a simple melody and expanding it to its full potential.
Chelsea Black – Five Points Framing
Tom Williams – The Williams Law Firm
Lynne Krajewski – Miller – in memory of Albina Krajewski
Dr. Arifi Saiman – Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, New York
Saron: $500 – $999
The recognizable slab key instruments of the “balungan” family. They play the core melody of a piece. Can be quite loud!
Kendhang: $250 – $499
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.
Rahayu “Ayu” Vitous
Erik Wong and Katie Papoe
Corey J. Hogan esq – Hoganwillig Law Firm
Rebab: $125 – $249
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.
Gerong: $75 – $124
This is the chorus of a gamelan, the beautiful and often jubilant group of singers who support the solo pesindhen singers.
Patti Jablonski-Dopkin – Urban Roots
Xin Wei Thow
Omar Haq Haq
Supporters: $5 – $74
We are truly fortunate to have so many supporters in our community. Thank you so much for your support of this wonderful project.
Carl J Lee
Andres Garcia Molina