William (Bill) Colvig (March 13, 1917 – March 1, 2000) was an electrician and amateur musician who was the partner for 33 years of composer Lou Harrison, whom he met in San Francisco in 1967. Colvig helped construct the American gamelan used in works such as the puppet opera Young Caeser [sic] (1971),La Koro Sutro (1972), and the Suite for Violin and American Gamelan (1974).
Colvig lived for many years with Lou Harrison in Aptos, California. He and Harrison purchased land in Joshua Tree, California, where they designed and built the Harrison House Retreat, a straw bale house.
Lou Silver Harrison was an American composer, music critic, music theorist, painter, and creator of unique musical instruments. Harrison initially wrote in a dissonant, ultramodernist style similar to his former teacher and contemporary, Henry Cowell, but later moved toward incorporating elements of non-Western cultures into his work. Notable examples include a number of pieces written for Javanese style gamelan instruments, inspired after studying with noted gamelan musician Kanjeng Notoprojo in Indonesia. Harrison would create his own musical ensembles and instruments with his partner, William Colvig, who are now both considered founders of the American gamelan movement and world music; along with composers Harry Partch and Claude Vivier, and ethnomusicologist Colin McPhee.
American gamelan could refer to both instruments and music; the term has been used to refer to gamelan-style instruments built by Americans, as well as to music written by American composers to be played on gamelan instruments. American gamelan music usually has some relationship to the gamelan traditions of Indonesia, as found primarily on the islands of Java and Bali in a variety of styles. Many American compositions can be played on Indonesian or American-made instruments. Indonesian gamelan can be made of a variety of materials, including bronze, iron, or bamboo. American gamelan builders used all sorts of materials including aluminum, tin cans, car hubcaps, steel, antique milk-strainers, etc. American gamelan may also describe the original music of American ensembles working with traditional instruments.
Dennis Murphy was a composer, musician, instrument maker, artist, and playwright.
William Winant is an American percussionist.
Ingolf Dahl was a German-born American composer, pianist, conductor, and educator.
Mantle Hood was an American ethnomusicologist. Among other areas, he specialized in studying gamelan music from Indonesia. Hood pioneered, in the 1950s and 1960s, a new approach to the study of music, and the creation of the first American university program devoted to ethnomusicology, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He was known for a suggestion, somewhat novel at the time, that his students learn to play the music they were studying.
Jody Diamond is an American composer, performer, writer, publisher, editor, and educator. She specializes in traditional and new music for Indonesian gamelan and is active internationally as a scholar, performer, and publisher.
The American Gamelan Institute (AGI) is an organization devoted to promoting and documenting all forms of gamelan, the performing arts of Indonesia, and their international counterparts.
(Joseph) Vincent McDermott was a classically trained American composer and ethnomusicologist. His works show particular influence from the musics of South and Southeast Asia, particularly the gamelan music of Java. He was among the second generation of American composers to create and promote new compositions for gamelan.
Betty Freeman was an American philanthropist and photographer.
Philip Brett was a British-born American musicologist, musician and conductor. He was particularly known for his scholarly studies on Benjamin Britten and William Byrd and for his contributions to the development of lesbian and gay musicology. At the time of his death, he was Distinguished Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Daniel Schmidt is an American composer and builder of American gamelan. He currently teaches gamelan and instrument building at Mills College. He is also a long-time collaborator with composer Paul Dresher.
Hail, Caesar! is a 2016 period mystery musical black comedy film written, produced, edited and directed by the brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. An American-British-Japanese co-production, the film stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum with Michael Gambon as the narrator. It is a fictional story that follows the real-life fixer Eddie Mannix (Brolin) working in the Hollywood film industry in the 1950s, trying to discover what happened to a star actor during the filming of a biblical epic.
The Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio is a trio, formed in 1984, resident at Mills College, and named for its members; violinist David Abel, pianist Julie Steinberg, and percussionist William Winant. They specialize in new music from the Americas and the Pacific Rim.
Young Caesar is an opera written in 1970 by Lou Harrison which depicting the younger years of Roman dictator Julius Caesar, such as his relationship with his first fiancée Cossutia and escape from Rome after disrespecting Dictator Sulla, but it focuses most of all on Caesar's sexual relationship with the Bithynian king Nicomedes IV of Bithynia. Harrison originally designed it as a puppet opera.
Gamelan Pacifica is an American musical ensemble, as well as a non-profit music and dance foundation that focuses on cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration. Formed as a community group in 1980, the group plays the gamelan, and is as of 2022 ensemble in residence at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. The ensemble is directed by Jarrad Powell.
Jonathon Grasse is an American composer, ethnomusicologist, and improvising electric guitarist. He is a professor of music at California State University, Dominguez Hills.