Studying in the Netherlands was my dream from childhood

Bagus Gede Krishna

I always dreamed of being able to continue my education and also develop Indonesian arts and culture in the Netherlands.

I grew up in Ubud, Bali. My grandfather, Tjokorda Mas, is my guideline in pursuing gamelan music. He became my benchmark when starting to focus on the world of gamelan music. My grandfather also was the first Balinese gamelan artist to have the opportunity to share his knowledge in the Netherlands, at the Tropen museum in Amsterdam. Even though I never met my grandfather in person, my family often told me about his career in developing and promoting Indonesian art and culture in Indonesia and abroad.

My experiences while studying at Codarts are numerous and very exciting. I met many expert lecturers and musicians from various countries. I followed the Master of Music education at the World Music Department. The focus of my study was to become a composer, producer and a musician. In the first year, 2017, I focused more on learning music from Turkey and Greece and also on Western music theory. Then in the second year, I chose to study music from North India, because in my opinion there are similarities in concepts of Indian and Balinese music. My aim is to combine instruments from India and Balinese gamelan to compose melodies and harmony based on North Indian rhythmical patterns. I started to study North Indian percussion namely tabla. This is one of the rhythmic instruments that is very popular in India. It is also one of the most complicated percussion instruments in the world. For one year I studied Indian music and then I began the process of combining Balinese gamelan and Indian music. This resulted in a composition presented on my final exam in June 2018. It was executed by a group of 18 players and we were able to show the musical merger between Balinese gamelan and North Indian rhythm theory to the maximum. Thanks to the enthusiasm and optimism of all my friends, I was able to get a master of music degree with a more than satisfying value.

Staying in the Netherlands, I got many experiences and new ideas for composition and ways to develop Indonesian arts in the Netherlands. Until now I am still teaching Balinese gamelan in several groups in Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Germany). I also provide Balinese gamelan and kecak dance workshops, as well as performances. I will use this opportunity to promote Indonesian performing arts and culture in Europe.

Once again I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the tuition grant provided by the Plantema Foundation.