Iwan Gunawan / Java
Granted in March 2017
Born in 1973 in West Java, this composer has been playing the gamelan since he was six years old. He graduated from the Indonesian conservatory and expanded his knowledge successively by studying under, among others, the German composer Dieter Mack. Iwan Gunawan is considered to be an innovator in gamelan music, and influences from the American minimal music of Steve Reich and Philip Glass can be distinctly heard.
Iwan Gunawan occupies a special position among Indonesian composers, because he also developed an extraordinary talent for playing the piano and he has no problem dealing with Western notations. Furthermore, he has dealt intensively with electronic media and modern MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) technologies. This resulted recently in rhythmically distinctive pieces, which remind one of Bartók, Stravinsky, or even Frank Zappa.
As the degree of complexity could no longer be coped with in a traditional manner, Iwan Gunawan founded his own ensemble in 2004. In addition, all of Gunawan's works are available as Western scores, which is rare and which led to numerous invitations to Western countries and corresponding collaborations – for example, to name a few, an invitation in 2005 from Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, and in 2010 from a gamelan festival in Amsterdam. Most recently he has been working together for the most part with Dutch dance groups.
Music / Sound
Iwan Gunawan is part of the Gamelan Festival, which is being organized by the music department of the Münchner Stadtmuseum in 2018; the artists are already busy preparing for this festival. Their closing performance will be open to the public and take place on Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Münchner Stadtmuseum. For further details, please check the daily newspapers.