Kali is a contemporary opera that examines myths of human suffering and transformation through the eyes of Kali, the Hindu goddess of Death. Conceived by Jarrad Powell, and centered around a libretto by one of Indonesia’s foremost writers and activists, Kali brings together a remarkable cross-cultural collaborative team of Indonesian and American artists: composers Jarrad Powell and Tony Prabowo, librettist Goenawan Mohamad, choreographer Mary Sheldon Scott, and director Melissa Weaver. Kali features singers, dancers, and an ensemble of outstanding musicians drawn from the United States and Indonesia.
Jarrad Powell is a composer whose work involves a variety of media, including chamber music, music for theater and dance, and sound installation. He has an interest in the music of Asia, and is especially noted for his work with gamelan. He was born in Montana in 1948 and studied music from an early age, including piano, percussion, and guitar. He received his M.A. in music composition from Mills College, where he studied with Anthony Braxton, Conlon Nancarrow, David Rosenboom, Pauline Oliveros and Larry Polansky and received the prestigious Paul M. Henry Award for excellence in music composition. He has also studied Javanese gamelan extensively with a number of teachers, including K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, Endo Suando, Antonius Sutrisna, Supardi, and Sri Djoko Rahardja. Mr. Powell has been a faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts since 1987, where he is currently Associate Professor. He is also Director of Gamelan Pacifica, Artistic Director of the Seattle Creative Orchestra, and co-director of Composer/Choreographer: new dialogues dance, music, media. He has recorded for What Next? Recordings, Periplus, Mode Records, New Albion, O.O. Discs, and the Leonardo Music Journal.