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. His “Geregel” (2000) was so widely influential that it became the subject of a 50-page analysis in the “Perspectives on New Music - Winter 2002” by Wayne Vitalle. One of his compositions written for a Boston-base gamelan group Galak Tika, “Semara Wisaya” was performed at New York Carnegie in 2004 and another composition “Pelog Slendro” appeared at Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2006.
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.
He was regularly invited to teach and compose outside Bali, which includes University of British Colombia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Helena College in Perth.
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