The Gamelatron Bunga Kota (Flower of the City)

Aaron Taylor Kuffner

Massey Knakal Realty Services, Art on Air

The Gamelatron Bunga Kota (Flower of the City) drew upon Indonesia’s thousand-year-old Gamelan music tradition of bronze instrument ensembles and combined it with the emerging field of robotics to create a live magical, private performance. As a site-specific contemporary artwork, the project consisted of kinetic sculptures that use specially tuned bronze instruments retrofitted with mechanical mallets on sculptural mounts to create an immersive sound installation. Compositions ranged from solitary reverberations of massive gongs and singing chimes to full ritual or storytelling orchestrations. Whether created live or pre-programmed, the compositions' instruments are masterfully tuned, as they have been for centuries, to impact the human body. The Gamelatron utilized innovation to preserve and revive the legacy and culture of Gamelan for future generations. Since its debut in 2008, The Gamelatron has been featured in concerts, at festivals and as the centerpiece in extended installations in Russia, Europe, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and the United States. It has been presented in diverse places ranging from conventional museums and galleries to private residences, building foyers, educational facilities, retreat centers, and public spaces.

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