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Compositions of I. M. Harjito

Nusantara Arts if proud to present a collection of compositions by the great I. M. Harjito that have been recorded over the last 30 years. Pak Harjito participated in our Gamelan Masters Guest Lecture Series where we originally presented these recordings. Nusantara Arts Matt Dunning remastered the recordings and we are adding them here now for the enjoyment and education of all.

Harjito’s compositions collected here are a fascinating variety. We have compositions of traditional Javanese themes and idioms mixed with western music instruments such as bagpipes, Irish fiddle, or full orchestra, and the results are fantastic and moving. The combinations bring out new possibilities in the traditional material and offer rich sonic interpretations of cross cultural identity. We also present several compositions of more traditional “klenengan” material which are simply elegant and immersive in all the ways the best Javanese compositions are.


I.M Harjito is one of the finest living Javanese musicians. A graduate of Indonesia’s state conservatory for the traditional performing arts, he worked closely with one of the major figures of 20th-C Javanese music, Martopangrawit. He has directed gamelan ensembles in Indonesia and the U.S. He is currently on faculty at Wesleyan University.


Dhandhanggula for Orchestra & Gamelan

I.M. Harjito composed Dhandhanggula for Orchestra and Gamelan from the end of December 1999 to March 2000. This video is of the piece’s premiere during the Millennium Concert on April 28, 2000 at Wesleyan University.

Ceili Panggih for Irish Fiddle, Viola and Gamelan

“I composed this piece in 2003 when I had a student who is an Irish fiddle player. She played the fiddle for me and I was thinking about composing a piece for fiddle and gamelan. I wrote the piece and asked her to play with her creativity based on the composition, after that I wrote the gamelan balungan part. This recording was take at the end of the Brown University Gamelan Concert in December 12, 2004.

Gendhing Sumunar pelog lima, Premieres 7/28 10:00am

Harjito composed this traditional styled piece in 1999. It is one of the earlier pieces he composed. Kusuma Laras premiered this piece at Bard College in 1999 and it was recorded in Solo with musicians from ISI Solo and some of the best musicians from Solo. The Pesindhen are the famous Ibu Ngatirah and Ibu Suparsih. Recorded in Solo May 11, 2006 at the Institute Seni Indonesia

Gendhing Langen Jawi pelog barang, Premieres 7/28 10:00am

Composed summer 2019 for Kusuma Laras Concert at Roulette, NYC. The lyrics of this classic klenengan style piece pay tribute to some of the feature performers of gamelan Kusuma Laras and the sponsor of the performance, with their names hidden in the lyrics.

Gendhing Cuplikan – Balinese style for Javanese gamelan Premieres 7/29 10:00am

Harjito composed Cuplikan in 1992 when one of his Wesleyan graduate students was having a recital. The recording was made a few years later. It was his first collaboration composition with Balinese gamelan style. The piece on the recording is not complete.

Sekat for Gamelan and Bagpipes, Premieres 7/29 10:00am

Gamelan and Bagpipes?! Yes, and it’s kind of incredible. I’d suggest listening to the piece all the way to the end, it gets pretty intense.

Played on a gamelan that features court style instruments like a Panembung extra large sized bonang and large Bedhug drum. The gamelan part of the piece is sort of a sekaten style piece.

I.M. Harjito composed this piece for gamelan and Bagpipes in 2001 in collaboration with a bagpipe-playing graduate student at Wesleyan University. This performance was part of the end-of-semester gamelan concert at Wesleyan on December 7, 2006.

Praise the Lord, Premieres 7/30 10:00am

Harjito composed this piece, when he was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago in 2004, and premiered it at the University Rockefeller Chapel Chicago June 10, 2004.

Gendhing Mijilaras slendro sanga, Premieres 7/30 10:00am

Kethuk 2 kerep minggah Ladrang

Harjito composed this piece in 1999. It was recorded at ISI Solo with musicians from ISI and some of the best musicians from around Solo. The Pesindhen are Ibu Ngatirah, Ibu Suparsih and Ibu Suparni.

Mengimpi for Chinese Music and Gamelan, Premieres 7/31 10:00am

Harjito composed this piece in January 2017 for the recital of Chinese Graduate students at Wesleyan. This video was taken during the Wesleyan University Gamelan concert on April 25, 2019.

Lancaran Bubaran, Premieres 7/31 10:00am

A bubaran is a classic closing style piece for a gamelan concert. Many groups in Java have their own closing piece they frequently play. This bubaran pays homage to Kusuma Laras. Composed summer 2019 for Kusuma Laras Concert at Roulette, NYC