Diamond, Jody

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Diamond, Jody

Diamond, Jody, American composer, scholar, performer, publisher, and teacher; b. Pasadena, Calif., April 23, 1953. After attending courses at the Calif. Inst. of the Arts (1970–72) and the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles (1972–73), she studied at the Univ. of Calif, at Berkeley (B.A. in music, communication, and culture, 1977) and San Francisco State Univ. (M.A. in education and music, 1979), and received a Senior Fulbright Research Fellow-ship in 1988. She also was trained in Indonesian music, performance, and theory at the Center for World Music in Berkeley (1971–75), attended summer workshops in Indonesian music and culture at the Univ. of Washington in Seattle (1973, 1976), and earned a level one certificate in Orff-Schulwerk technique in San Francisco (1979), and had private training with numerous Javanese and Balinese master artists in both Indonesia and the U.S., including K. R. T. Wasitodiningrat, Nyai Bei Mardusari, and Nyi Supadmi (from 1971). In 1981 Diamond founded the American Gamelan Inst., which publishes scores and monographs on the Indonesian percussion ensemble known as gamelan. She is also the editor of Balungan, a journal of Indonesian performing arts. She has become an expert in Indonesian culture, with special expertise in contemporary music and practices. She has contributed innumerable articles to scholarly journals, and has given lectures, presentations, and workshops the world over. Two particularly noteworthy articles are “There Is No They There: Global Values in Cross-cultural Research” (Musicworks, No. 37, June 1990), on the ethics of cross-cultural interaction and research, and “Out of Indonesia: Global Gamelan” (Ethnomusicology, Vol. 42, No. 1, Winter 1998), an extensive review of gamelan outside of Indonesia. She has held teaching positions at John F. Kennedy Univ. in Orinda, Calif. (1980), the Univ. of Calif at Berkeley (1976–88), Mills Coll. (1981–89), Dartmouth Coll. (1990–92), Goddard Coll. (1993–97), and Monash Univ. in Clayton, Australia (1996). From 1999 she returned to Dartmouth Coll. as a Visiting Scholar in Asian Studies and a visiting asst. prof, of music. She also has appeared widely as a performer. She is married to Larry Polansky, which whom she founded and directs Frog Peak Music (A Composers’ Collective).


GAMELAN : In That Bright World (1981); Sabbath Bride (1982); Gending Chelsea (1982; in collaboration with Virgil Thomson); Dance Music I, II, and III (1983); Bubaran Bill (1984); Pangkur GMT (1987); Pangkur/Ricik-ricik (1987); Pangkur N.Z. (New Zealand; 1992); Kenong (1990); also numerous arrangements. CHORUS AND JAVANESE GAMELAN : ”Kabe baud…” for Chorus and Javanese Gamelan (1982; in collaboration with Ki Mantle Hood). GAMELA N AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS : Oh Little Mother for Gamelan, Flute, Banjo, Guitar, and Voices (1982); Maggie in Two Modes for Cello and Gamelan (1983); Hard Times for Gamelan, Mandocello, and Chorus (1984); Lagu Didalam Kotak/The Melody Within the Box for Gamelan and Computer-controlled Matrix Switcher (1986); Pieces of Eight for 8 Tapes of Indonesian Music and Computer-controlled Matrix Switcher (1986); Prelude: Anyone Can Play for Audience and Gamelan (1987); UK 789 for Gamelan and Tape (1989); ”We taste the spices of Arabia, yet we cannot feel the scorching sun that brings them forth” for Guitar, Piano, French Horn, Singers, and Readers, after Goenawan Mohamad (1997). OTHER: Deep Blue Sea for Chorus (1982); Pangkur Tunggal for Singer and Real-time Multi-tracked Tape (1992); We Need More Time for 2 Performers (1997); the betrayal of the wedhatama for Voices, Percussion, and Shadow Puppets (2000).

—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire