Special/Signature Issues » 2013 Music Issue

22. Gamelan Raga Kusuma, "Legong Kraton" live at Balliceaux




When Balinese music collective Gamelan Raga Kusuma performs at Balliceaux, it's kind of a tight fit. "We (somehow) cram the whole group of 22 musicians in there plus a couple of Balinese dancers from the Indonesian embassy in D.C.," explains director Andrew McGraw, who says the orchestras include bronze gongs, chimes, cymbals, metallophones, drums, fiddles and flutes in addition to numerous other instruments. McGraw founded the group with the Balinese master musician Gusti Sudarta in 2007. It's now in residence at the University of Richmond, with rehearsals open to the public. "The membership is pretty diverse," McGraw says. "Balinese and other Indonesian immigrants ... American folks with all kinds of backgrounds ... ages ranging from 10-65." Gamelan Raga Kusuma will play at the Hindu Center of Virginia on April 28 and at Balliceaux again in May. — Andrew Cothern

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