Javanese Arts at U-M U-M is one of the few universities in the U.S. to own a gamelan, an ensemble of gongs from Java, Indonesia. Gamelan is used for a variety of purposes, but most often to accompany dance and shadow puppet performances. Students at U-M can learn to play the gamelan through courses in the School of Music, Theater, and Dance. Image: Walter Angst Gamelan in the Sultan’s palace in Yogyakarta, a city in Central Java Classical Javanese Gamelan Performance: Jineman Jineman is a kind of musical composition which uses a small ensemble of gamelan instruments. The genre first appeared sometime in the 13th century and is often performed as a transition between the performance of more serious, heavy music and more cheerful, lighter music. There are dozens of compositions in the Jineman repertoire. The two pieces below are among the most popular Jineman in central Java. Jineman Lyric Translations Uler Kambang Kendang alit rikma paèsing wadana resep, lir kenya kang sulistyèng warna kèwes luwes, karya gemes, solahé amerak driya Driyasmara Floating Caterpillar A small drum, hair adorns the face Charming, like a lovely girl graceful and alluring, her ways draw the heart heart full of love Mumpung anom, mesu luhuring budaya, seni lan agami, ngluhurken budi pekerti ngèlmi tèknologi, kawruh iguh migunani, sami njurung gesang murih gampang dadi seniman kondang, nganglang sabrang ra sah utang upami dadi mentri, ditanggung nora korupsi While young, work to uplift your culture, art and religion lift up character and good works Science, technology, knowledge, effort are beneficial and sustain our lives. To be a famous musician means to travel the world on the cheap like a government minister, guaranteed not to become corrupt. Nadyan, panjak nabuh salah, nanging pacak tetep cakrak gagah, grayah grayah owah owah, wekasane gawé bubrah, rak ra nggenah Though hitting the wrong notes, an artist still plays with style bold groping, crazed, it falls apart in the end you know he’s nuts Taberia memangun lekas raharja awya tindak cidra, ngajab sengsaraning liya, muhung, sung tetulung, mulung mring bebrayan agung, srawung budaya dadya lantaran, rukuning bebrayan, guyub rukun ndonya aman sengsem, adem ayem, bagya mulya urip tentrem. Be diligent and quick to do what’s right don’t lie, or wish for others to suffer. It’s better to offer help to the community Come together Make culture the source of harmony, togetherness in harmony. The world is safe pleasing, refreshing, joyful, prosperous, a life of peace. Glathik Glindhing Bebrayatan Gangsa nyundari araras, Olah rasa bak surasa sa sa sa, lakutama ma ma ma, Aji handayani, lungit hangrerawit, èdi pèni dèn pepetri. Lirih nora ringkih, seru nora saru, Ayu kuning, nggenuk kuthuk kuning Bonang gambang, luk suling ngalengking, Milang miling ngaliling, dumeling nggènya péling, mila lamun limput, Kalut luput mawut clingukan cacat keliwat Gendhung gendhing nding, swara gandhang-ndang Kondang kaonang, besus ngrebab bregas ngedhang, Jer, nggarap seger ger, akal pinter ter, mikir èncèr, Diteter nora keseser, mingar minger ra keblinger. Wewaton wirid kang bener, nggendèr moncèr, njogèd ngleter, Patrap lan pangucap katiti kanthi premati Mrih bontos putus mring kawruh, temen tekun tekenipun. Wiled gregel gel, luk è lulut lut, amemilut Amemalat ati, gojeg gayeng guyub, luwes kèwes gawé gemes Ndudut ati, tangèh rongèh, manteb meneb tur semèlèh Gambuh mungguh jumbuh, lahir batiné nyawiji Niat gumregah kumrembyah sagah manembah mring Allah Sparrows Spin a Family Gamelan sings with enchanting sound Nurturing feeling with deep meaning, with noble conduct A powerful charm, intricate lucidity; cherish value and beauty Soft but not weak, loud but not vulgar, The gender phrasing “Golden Rooster” bonang and gambang ornamented by the trill of the flute A clear voice warns: if engulfed in vacancy, you will be dispersed in confusion, a deadly flaw. Proud the musical piece, the sound clear and strong Famous and renown, fine the rebab-player, skillful the kendang-player for their styling is fresh, smart and sharp urged forward, undeterred, weaving, evading, never caught unawares. On the foundation of true teaching, the gender playing is clever, the dancing captivating. Word and deed must be careful and considered at last to penetrate true knowledge the guide must be firm and true. Melodic phrases moving, turns that entrall, captivating the heart with joy and laughter, alluring grace enchants. Touching the heart, ever restless, solidly coming to rest. Having come to union, body and soul are one. Intent awakened trembles, ready to worship God. The shadow puppet repertoire: Mahabharata Puppet showing Arjuna, a hero of the Pandawas, deep in meditation and solitude. Image from Alit Djajasoebrata. Wayang Shadow puppetry in Java has a long history. Dating from the 10th century, puppet masters have told and re-told the ancient Indian stories of the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, although with distinctive Javanese characters and plotlines. The Mahabharata in Javanese tellings is closely connected to the ancient history of Java. The figures of the tales are ancestors of the first king of Java, Parikesit. The Mahabharata spans 12 generations. It begins with Wisnu the god and ends with Parikesit, the father of Yadayana, the first king of Java. The main story, however is the tale of the familial competition: the five Pandawa brothers against their 99 cousins, the Kurawa brothers. The Pandawas, Yudhistira, Bima, Arjuna, and the twins Nakula and Sadewa, were raised together with their cousins the Kurawas in the kingdom of Astina. The six eldest Kurawas, Duryadana, Dursasana, Kartamarma, Durgandesena, Citraksa, and Citraksi constantly compete with the Pandawas, who always won. The Pandawas eventually leave Astina and build the kingdom of Amarta. However, in a game of dice, Yudhistira loses all the Pandawas’ possessions, including Amarta, to the Kurawas, for 12 years. The Pandawas wander in exile and in disguise. After their years of exile are up, Kresna goes to the Kurawas to negotiate the return of Astina. His negotiation fails, the Bharatayuda (Great War) ensues. In the war, all of the Pandawa’s sons are slain as are all the Kurawas. Yudhistira resumes kingship of Astina and passes it to Arjuna’s grandson, Parikesit. Kresna Duta // Kresna the Envoy This is just one episode in the saga between the Kurawas and the Pandawas. In this episode, the Pandawas, disguised in exile, have been uncovered. King Matswapati, who extends them his protection, is determined to lend his support and all the strength of his kingdom Wiratha to the Pandawas. Yudhistira, the eldest Pandawa, sends Kresna as a special envoy to Astina to request that Duryudana fulfill his promise and return the kingdom of Amarta to the Pandawas. With a willing heart, the noble envoy carries out the command of the Honorable Yudhistira and King Matswapati. Kresna’s journey gives hope to the world and is witnessed by four great gods: Narada, Parasurama, Kanwa, and Janaka. Word of Kresna’s arrival in Astina reaches Duryudana. At once, he puts his cunning mind to work, determined to thwart Kresna’s plan. In a grand audience in Astina, all leaders of the kingdom are present. Kresna is welcomed and treated as an important guest, but behind this pretense, Sangkuni has poisoned Kresna’s food and the Kurawas are ready to kill him. Duryudana arrogantly retracts his promise, which had been witnessed by the gods, to return the kingdom to the Pandawas. Chaos breaks out at once. Kresna Duta // Kresna the Envoy Kresna remains vigilant when he leaves the audience and he sees Setiyaki fighting with Burisrawa. Together, the Kurawas attack Kresna. There are one hundred Kurawas, armed with all kinds of weapons, directed toward Kresna, but with the power of the god Wisnu, Kresna changes into an ogre who is able to swallow up the earth. Narada soon intervenes so that Kresna returns to his original form. Kresna gives a sign for Satiyaki to continue his journey to Panggombakan. Meanwhile, Kalasrenggi, the son of King Guwabarong, holds a deep resentment towards Arjuna. He wanders the forest around looking for Arjuna, wanting to kill him and take revenge for the death of his father and mother. During his journey, Kalasrenggi by chance meets Irawan, the son of Arjuna and Dewi Ulupi. He thinks it is Arjuna and without hesitation pounces on him, but Irawan is ready with his dagger, and in the end they both die. On his journey, Kresna meets Karna who is meditating at the edge of the Yamuna River. Kresna tries to persuade Karna to join the Pandawas before the Battle of the Bharatayuda ensues. However, Karna is not to be persuaded, and says that whatever happens, he will remain loyal to the Kurawas and is ready to die on the battlefield. Karna then leaves Kresna to go and see his mother, Kunthi. Yudhistira, the eldest Pandawa brother. Image: Walter Angst. Dursasana, a Kurawa brother. Image: Walter Angst Kresna, envoy of the Pandawas. Image: Alit Djajasoebrata Bima, a Pandawa brother. Image: Walter Angst Stories and legends in Java are not only told through shadow puppetry. Wooden puppets, called wayang golek are used, especially to tell Islamic stories in West Java. This is a wooden puppet of Arjuna from Cirebon. Image: Mimi Herbert. Dance is also a way to tell the stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata in Java. Blambangan Cakil, the dance to be performed on September 23, 2011, portrays the conflict between Arjuna and Cakil, an ogre whose name means “Fang”. This dance is also often taken to represent the struggle between good and evil. Cakil and Arjuna, as puppets Image: Alit Djajasoebrata Image credits and bibliography Angst, Walter. Wayang Indonesia The Fantastic World of Indonesian Puppet Theater. Konstanz: Stadler Verlagsgesellschaft, 2007. Brandon, James R. On Thrones of Gold Three Javanese Shadow Plays. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1970. Djajasoebrata, Alit. Shadow Theatre in Java The Puppets, Performance and Repertoire. Amsterdam and Singapore: The Pepin Press, in association with the Museum of Ethnology Rotterdam, 1999. Herbert, Mimi. Voices of the Puppet Masters The Wayang Golek Theater of Indonesia. Jakarta: The Lontar Foundation, and Honolulu: the University of Hawaii Press, 2002. Presented by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, in collaboration with the North Quadrangle Programming, the Indonesian Arts Institute of Surakarta, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments of the U-M School of Music, Theater, and Dance, the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Office of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs.