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Wayne Vitale

El Sobrante, CA   

Wayne Vitale has long been inspired by the music of Bali, Indonesia. He has studied and collaborated with many of Bali’s finest musicians and ensembles, extensively documenting their work, and leading myriad projects bringing them together with diverse artists and audiences. His works for bronze gamelan, spanning a stylistic range from traditional to experimental/multimedia, have been performed by noted gamelan orchestras in Bali. He is a founding member and composer in The Lightbulb Ensemble, a group of twelve percussionists working at the interface of Balinese and Western music traditions and innovations. He is also a founding member and past director (1992 – 2009) of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, an ensemble of sixty musicians and dancers with an unparalleled international reputation for its cross-cultural programs. His recording label, Vital Records, releases high-quality recordings of new and traditional Balinese music. He has also devoted himself to the metallic art of gamelan tuning and restoration, grinding and filing his way throughout the US and Europe to restore Balinese instruments.

Makrokosma Bali (excerpts)

MAKROKOSMA BALI combines new music for gamelan orchestra with projected video imagery, ambient sounds, and lighting design in an integrated set. It was presented by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco in May 2011, in the context of their six-month exhibition, “Bali: Art, Ritual, and Performance.” The work featured the gamelan ensemble Taruna Mekar from the village of Tunjuk, Bali, led by Bali’s renowned composer I Made Arnawa, and a US-based team of theatrical, multimedia and software artists.

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Mikrokosma is an exploration in sound and light of the microcosms of Bali-Hindu cosmology, where the universe is reflected and re-created in all its parts. The work was composed for the 12-member Lightbulb Ensemble (LBE) by Wayne Vitale and Brian Baumbusch, LBE director. Live media/video projections were designed and performed by Ian Winters; theatrical lighting by Allen Willner.

Mikrokosma was premiered on May 1-2, 2015 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, presented by Gamelan Sekar Jaya in its 35th Anniversary Concert.

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This piece explorese the slight differences in tuning among certain instruments of a Balinese gamelan gong kebyar. The title, which means “echo” or “reflection” in Indonesian, refers to the process of offsetting parts on like instruments in various ways, as if played through a digital delay. Pantulan had its East Coast premiere in October 2013 at the Smithsonian Institute, performed by the Lightbulb Ensemble.

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