On September 7, 2017, USINDO Jakarta in partnership with Jakarta Institute of the Arts (IKJ) held an Open Forum on The Internationalization of Indonesian Arts and Gamelan in the U.S. and Other Countries followed by a session on Writing for Academic Journals. The event featured Mr. Jay M. Arms, Cultural Musicology Doctoral Candidate at UC Santa Cruz as well as senior Cultural Studies lecturer and researcher at IKJ, Dr. Julianti Parani.
This forum itself explored some of the characteristics of the presence of gamelan in the United States, as well as the intersections of gamelan music and experimental composition. Using the case study of Gamelan Son of Lion, founded in 1976 and still active today, Mr. Jay M. Arms displayed how they helped lead the way in developing a repertoire of American music for gamelan that draws on elements of Javanese and Balinese gamelan with American experimental music. Gamelan Son of Lion is among the oldest and longest running gamelan ensembles to champion new composition for gamelan in the United States.
Dr. Julianti Parani and Mr. Jay M. Arms covered central questions regarding the future of the Indonesian performance arts abroad: What are the forces shaping the future of Indonesian cultural presence in the international world? What kind of push and pull exists in creating gamelan and other Indonesian arts as global art forms? What kinds of artistic and cultural practices are shared across different communities in the U.S. and Indonesia? How will performance art serve and contribute towards the strengthening of Indonesia’s bilateral relationship with the United States?