Consul general of Indonesia to visit EC for annual gamelan concert

April 18, 2014

Earlham College will welcome Andriana Supandy, consul general of Indonesia to Chicago, as part of Saturday’s gamelan concert of traditional Indonesian music. 

Supandy will meet with President David Dawson and dine with the College’s Indonesian students as part of the lead up to the event. 

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Goddard Auditorium and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. 

“We are really honored that the consul general is joining us for this event,” says Professor of Music Marc Benamou. “I was looking for expert dancers to perform during the concert and we found some in Chicago who work for the consulate. 

“The consul general’s job is to promote Indonesia and knowledge of the country so the opportunity just snowballed from there,” he says. “This is a great connection for the College to make and an opportunity for some of our students to meet with an influential figure from their native country.” 

Earlham College is the only institution of higher education across Indiana that owns a gamelan, Benamou says. The 60-year-old bronze central Javanese gamelan is one of the largest in the country and includes melodic percussion instruments, a bowed lute, a plucked zither, a bamboo flute and singers. 

“We’ve added a few instruments to it so that it will work better with beginners,” Benamou says. “Some of the instruments are harder to play than others.” 

This year's concert is a virtuosic fight scene adapted from the Javanese shadow theater, in which the dancers imitate shadow puppets.

Benamou, who completed his doctoral research in ethnomusicology, is also the author of Rasa: Affect and intuition in Javanese Music, which was published in 2010 by Oxford University Press. 

Apart from Saturday’s concert, Earlham’s connection to Indonesia was also highlighted in a video produced in 2012 by EducationUSA Indonesia. The U.S. Embassy and American Indonesian Exchange Foundation operate that organization in order to provide mutual understanding between the two nations. 

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a "College That Changes Lives." We expect our students to be fully present: to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success. Earlham is one of only 40 national liberal arts colleges ranked among U.S. News and World Reports' "Great Schools at a Great Price."

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at (765) 983-1256 and zimmebr@earlham.edu.

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