Composer Wayne Vitale and The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, in cooperation with the Exploratorium, created Makrokosma Bali, a multimedia work combining new music for Balinese gamelan orchestra with projected video and still imagery, ambient sounds, and lighting design in an integrated stage set. The work was performed by an ensemble of gamelan musicians from the village of Tunjuk, Bali and a US-based design/production crew including lighting designer Allen Willner, video artist Eric Koziol, and designers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The premiere took place at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco in 2011 in the context of a ground-breaking special exhibition, Bali: Art, Ritual, Performance (Feb. 25 – Sept. 11, 2011).
Makrokosma Bali combined and contrasted the sound worlds, musical aesthetics, living culture, and ancient Hindu cosmology of Bali with emerging views of the universe from Western space science and related fields. The Asian Art Museum provided a site-specific canvas for the work. Mr. Vitale, together with I Made Arnawa (director of the gamelan ensemble) and other artists also presented educational and outreach programming as part of the museum’s daytime programs.
Wayne Vitale is an acknowledged master in the field of Balinese performing arts, widely known for his skills as a composer, scholar, and teacher. He is the former director of Gamelan Sekar Jaya, an internationally recognized ensemble that has focused on Balinese music for more than thirty years.
Located in San Francisco’s Civic Center, the Asian Art Museum is one of the largest in the Western world devoted exclusively to Asian art. The museum offers programs for visitors of all ages, and for all levels of knowledge of Asian art and culture, from novice through expert.