Students from Shaping the Sound of Bronze perform on metallaphones and gongs they cast themselves, alongside Susan Walton, head of the UM Gamelan ensemble. The class is team taught by Lou Marinaro (A&D), Steven Ball (School of Music, Theatre & Dance), Greg Wakefield (College of Engineering) and Paul Kominsky (College of Engineering).
This multi-disciplinary class teaches students from the School of Art & Design and the College of Engineering to mold, cast and tune bronze instruments. The class culminates in an end of the semester performance. Last year, the class created carillon bells - read the full story here: http://playgallery.org/stories/bells.
The gamelan instruments are smaller and lighter bronze objects than last year’s carillon bells but, unlike the bells, they can be tuned by hand. However, tuning to the ‘slendro scale’ of Javanese music proved challenging.
The performance here features the three instruments that the students made – the gender, the saron and the bonang– along with traditional Javanese instruments from the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance.