You need a 1.5 ton gamelan, and I know where you can get it

The wonderful Jon Singer has a weird sort of problem, and you are the sort of people who might help him. He is custodian of a traditional Javanese gamelan (~1.5t worth) and it needs a home. From Patrick Nielsen Hayden:

As some of you are aware, the small non-profit research institute that has employed Jon Singer for the past thirteen years is folding its tents, and he’s looking for a new situation. With luck he’ll find something that will make good use of his famously wide-ranging and eccentric talents.

Meanwhile, for reasons too complicated to explain—and yet perfectly Jon Singerish—he is currently spending over $200 a month to store a full-size gamelan, which is to say, a complete set of the instruments played by a traditional Javanese ensemble in both scales. Essentially, we’re talking about a ton and a half of bronze, plus various wooden bits and parts.

Fond though he is of traditional Indonesian music, Jon does not actually foresee having a constant need for this assemblage, and he would like it to find a good home. Interested parties should be prepared to either pick it up in person (Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC) or arrange for its carting and shipping. Inquiries should go to Jon Singer at

As Patrick mentions, Jon also needs a job. He's a pretty amazing dude.

Jon Singer’s problems are not like your problems

(Pictured: Part of Emory University’s gamelan, near-twin to Jon’s. Not pictured: Jon Singer’s friends’ complete lack of surprise upon hearing that his current logistical problem entails having become responsible for the storage of a one-and-a-half-ton set of highly specialized musical instruments.)


  1. When I was at CalArts they had two gamelan ensembles ( what’s the plural of gamelan ? Is it a noun or an adjective? 
    Anyway they had two of them in use 24/7 and it made me thankful no one could hear the kids learning how to use the Buchlas. I’m always surprised there aren’t any “bang along” jokes in Pixar movies. Maybe they need a third one?

  2. Living in Washington, why doesn’t he ask around the Indonesian embassy?  Probably more interest in gamelans there than most places in America.

    I would take it myself, but my apartment is small.

    1. The embassy hosted gamelan concerts at one point, though I haven’t checked in a while.

      The Joss website says it (or the place where they receive mail) is a few miles from my home.  I have a basement full of unused instruments, and I promised my wife I’d re-do the floor down there, so I’m kind of on the fence about this one.

      EDIT: Sad thing is that there may have been room to spare for the giant Humpty Hump head.

    2. IIRC, on occasion, Jon has played (gamelans) at the Indonesian embassy in D.C., so i would assume that possibility didn’t work out if we’re reading this.

  3. Wesleyan (in CT, to forestall any potential confusion) has a gamelan hall built to house its own, and a great world music program, to boot…

  4. Time is a factor. Jon was the Resident Researcher at the Joss Institute, so he’s lost both home and job. 

  5. Florida State University has a gamelan, maybe they want a spare…

    E-mail of the professor in charge of the gamelan ensemble:

    Em Bee A Kay A Enn AT Eff Ess You Dot Eee Dee Ewe

    1. If you don’t have room to store a gamelan, how on earth will you have room to store a cloud? Those things are huge.

  6. The Dutch usually just melted them down & carried off the bronze.  Increases gamelan portability by over 250%, at a negligible cost to one’s immortal soul.  Highly recommended!

  7. Gamelatron is the best home for this collection.  Let it live through Taylor’s work.  I’ve seen his installations, executed without pretense, pure music.  Let this collection travel.  Let Taylor be the shepherd.  He can carry this burden lightly to audiences not seen within four walls.  Let this collection fly!  It’s what the original smiths would have barely been able to dream of.  Metal on wings of inspiration.  Played by ghosts perhaps.  But shedding their human summoners, these gongs can reach new ears few could have dreamed of reaching.

  8. We would love to put it to use at Jacksonville University in Florida.
    Email me at

    The gamelan would have a loving home until you wish it to be returned.

    All the best.


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