Jody Diamond ’74

Jody Diamond ’74 says, “The first time I played gamelan at CalArts in the fall of 1970, a voice in my head said, ‘I am going to play this music for the rest of my life.’ Fifty years later, I am still in the world of gamelan—learning, playing, teaching, writing, publishing, and composing. I was Lou Harrison’s gamelan teacher and orchestrator for 25 years, and inherited his largest ensemble, the Javanese-style Gamelan Si Betty. As an Artist in Residence at Harvard for 10 years, I taught gamelan and composition. This month, we found a new home at SUNY New Paltz, where a program in Southeast Asian Music includes ensembles from the Philippines and Burma (with Kyaw Kyaw Naing). I will always be grateful to CalArts for allowing me to encounter the gamelan through a direct and profound musical experience, and making it possible for a powerful epiphany to become the touchstone for a lifetime of music making.”