Experimental Gamelan

American Gamelan

Barbara Benary

Gamelan Son of Lion

Built by Barbara Benary along with with Philip Corner and Daniel Goode

Here is a short video with Barbara Benary explaining the history of Son of Lion and the connection with other American Gamelan.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya

Dennis Murphy

Built the first American Gamelan at Wesleyan University in the 1960s
He published his Ph.D. dissertation “The Autochthonous American Gamelan” in 1975 that goes into detail into the construction of his instruments

Sir Honorable Voice of Thoom
The Autochthonous American Gamelan

Lou Harrison

Old Granddad
Si Betty

Harvard and now Bucknell University

Si Darius/Si Madeleine

Mills College

Daniel Schmidt

The Berkeley Gamelan
Gamelan Pacifica

William Colvig

Brian Baumbusch

Lightbulb Ensemble

Gamelan Adjacent Ensembles

Aaron Taylor Kuffner

The Gamelatron

Terry Dame

Electric Junkyard Gamelan

The Electric Junkyard Gamelan is an experimental ensemble built out of instruments made by Terry Dame. The ensemble plays Balinese Gamelan inspired music.

Relationship makers have to one another

“We were playing on what Lou called the “American Gamelan,” and when Barbara [Benary] and I pointed out to him that, “yeah, but it's not the only American gamelan,” because Barbara had already built some, and Dennis Murphy before her, and Paul [Dresher] and I were working on instruments, and it turned out that David Doty and Harry Rosenthal were also building their own set… It was wonderful! And that's where it started. That was the beginning of American gamelan.” 1)

Brian Baumbusch was a student of Daniel Schmidt.

American Gamelan institute


Balungan is a periodical published by the American Gamelan institute.


A dissertation “Gamelan as World Citizen: American Experimental Music and the Internationalization of Gamelan” by Jay Arms on the subject of American Gamelan can be found in full here 2)
Here is a link to the digital back issues of the Balungan, which is a periodical about experimental and American Gamelan. 3)
Link to all back issues of Balungan- 4)

Daniel Schmidt, interview with Jay Arms the author of “Gamelan as World Citizen: American Experimental Music and the Internationalization of Gamelan” (linked below in notes), February 17, 2017
experimental_gamelan.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/24 01:47 by mete
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