Some of the instruments used by Fine Stream Gamelan

In a first for the Arizona Senior Academy, a gamelan recital will be held in the ASA’s Great Room at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 24). The recital will feature the Tucson-based Fine Stream Gamelan, an ensemble founded in 1988 and still led by Matt Finstrom.

The term gamelan refers to the traditional music of Indonesia, especially Bali and Java. It involves multiple percussion instruments (mettalophones, chimes, drums, cymbals, gongs), along with bamboo flutes, bowed strings and voice. The effects of the music can be jubilant, meditative, rousing, soothing and melodic.

Finstrom has made many of the instruments used by the ensemble and has composed a substantial amount of its repertoire. He has won an award from the Arizona Composer’s Forum. Approximately a dozen musicians will perform a variety of works, including one composed for the 2008 All Soul’s Procession in Tucson. More information and photos may be found at

Matt Finstrom with one of his instruments

It has become quite popular within the last few decades in the Western world, especially within university communities. Finstrom was first introduced to gamelan in the mid-70s as a student at the University of Michigan.

There are good examples of gamelan ensembles on YouTube.

Written by Dennis Anderson, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Gamelan Music Comes to the ASA: January 2017
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