Born to a family of artists in Pengosekan village in Bali, Dewa Alit grew up surrounded by Balinese gamelan music from early childhood. His father Dewa Nyoman Sura and his oldest brother Dewa Putu Berata were the most influential teachers for gamelan in his life. He began performing at age 11, and by age 13 was playing in his village’s adult group, Tunas Mekar Pengosekan. 1988-1995 he played in the internationally acclaimed Gamelan Semara Ratih of Ubud village, touring internationally.
In 1997, a year before graduating from Academy of Indonesian Performing Arts in Denpasar (STSI Denpasar), Dewa Alit and his brothers founded a gamelan group Çudamani which immediately acknowledged as one of the best gamelan groups and went on their own international tours.
Dewa Alit founded his own gamelan group in 2007, Gamelan Salukat, seeking a wider path for expressing his approach to new music in gamelan and performing on a new set of instruments of Alit’s own tuning and design.
As a composer, Dewa Alit is generally acknowledged as the leading figure of his generation in Bali and beyond. One of his early works “Geregel” (2000) was subject of a music analysis by Wayne Vitalle in the Perspectives on New Music. His “Semara Wisaya” for the Boston-base gamelan group Galak Tika was performed at New York Carnegie in 2004 and another composition “Pelog Slendro” at Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2006.
Dewa's album released In 2022, "Chasing the Phantom" from the label Black Truffle was included in the lists for The Best Contemporary Classical on Bandcamp: July 2022, the Wire magazine’s Best Releases of 2022 list, The Best Contemporary Classical of 2022, and the New York Times' Best Classical Music Tracks of 2022.
His compositions for non-gamelan ensembles includes music for MIT's Gamelan Electrika, Talujon Percussion (USA) and Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt, Germany).
As a collaborator, Dewa Alit has worked with musicians and dancers from around the world. These include a contemporary theater production Theatre Annees Folles (director: Alicia Arata Kitamura, Tokyo), a butoh dancer Ko Murobushi, contemporary dancers Min Tanaka and Kaiji Moriyama, and Noh master Reijiro Tsumura.
Dewa Alit was the gamelan director in Evan Ziporyn’s opera “A House in Bali” with his Gamelan Salukat and toured with Bang On a Can All-stars to USA in 2009 and 2010.
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