Java Tour, July 2018!

We’re launching our new project, Akar, with a tour of Java featuring crankies, storytelling, songs, and international collaborators.

Beyond the simple pleasure of of performing beautiful music and shadow theater, Rumput’s mission has been intercultural communion through study and collaboration. Last year we traveled to Java on the extraordinary opportunity of an invited 12-day residency. The timing lined up fortuitously with Andy’s academic research in Bali and the departure of three of our members for a year of intensive study in Java — Hannah on a Fulbright scholarship to study keroncong, Natalie on a Darmasiswa scholarship to study gamelan, and Edward on a Darmasiswa to study wayang (shadow puppetry). We got to escort them overseas, play music together, immerse ourselves in the local culture, and collaborate with enormously talented Javanese musicians.

This summer we’re mounting a similar journey on the other end of our scholars’ study year. But this time we’re traveling on our own steam, with our own agenda, rather than on a sponsored, curated, and all-expenses-paid trip. This will enable us to dig deeper into the highly localized cultures of several Indonesian cities.

Detail from Beth Reid’s “Brer Rabbit” crankie. Photo by Robert Parrish.

Danis Sugiyanto, Guest Artistic Director

Danis Sugiyanto, Guest Artistic Director, Spring 2018

Mas Danis is a visiting Fulbright Scholar with dual appointments teaching Javanese gamelan at William & Mary and the University of Richmond. He will  join Rumput during his semester-long residency, playing key gigs at Cornell University, in Baltimore and Washington DC, and in Richmond. He is also helping us compose and arrange music for our next big touring project, Akar.

Born to a renowned family of musicians in Solo, Java, Mr. Sugiyanto has been an active performer of traditional gamelan, kroncong and experimental music since his early teens. He graduated in 1995 with a BA from the Indonesian Institute of the Arts in Solo, earning his MA there in 2003 and immediately joined the permanent faculty. He has performed extensively in Asia, Australia, America and Europe. He was a featured musician in Robert Wilson’s I La Galigo and has performed extensively with Ong Keng Seng, Rahayu Supanggah, I Wayan Sadra, Waljinah, Sardono W. Kusumo and many others. He has been a featured performer in several of Garin Nugroho’s films

Rumput at InLight 2017

Rumput was featured in InLight 2017, a juried outdoor public festival of illuminated art with an international draw. Many thanks to our fabulous crankie artist Beth Reid for putting together the application, and to sound & vision designer Greyson Goodenow for making us look so spectacular the photographers couldn’t keep away. (Fully 28% of the 7 photos featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch gallery were of us!)

Thanks also to photographers Robert Parrish (freelance) and James H. Wallace (Richmond Times-Dispatch).