Rahayu Supanggah: the legacy of an Indonesian and global composer
This article discusses contributions to contemporary gamelan composition by Indonesian composers of Javanese heritage representing two generations: Rahayu Supanggah and his student, Peni Candra Rini. Supanggah was an internationally-famed composer and a pioneer of experimental gamelan music, who extensively engaged in writing music for large, multi-media productions for theatre and film. This study examines three of his opuses that particularly well display the inner workings of these complex forms: I La Galigo (directed by Robert Wilson), Opera Jawa and Setan Jawa (directed by Garin Nugroho). Candra Rini is a rising international artist of a new generation who specialises in vocal compositions that also utilise multi-media, especially dance and video. Her most recent composition was written for Kronos Quartet. This analysis demonstrates how traditional and experimental elements are intertwined in the work of these two composers, and how both artists—through their style, selected media and international collaborations—claim their place in the global experimental music scene.