The Lightbulb Ensemble (LBE) is a composers collective that champions experimental music, instrument building, and contemporary gamelan. The ensemble has roots in both Mills College and the Bay Area's Gamelan Sekar Jaya. LBE performs on steel metallophones, wooden marimbas, and other instruments designed, tuned, and built by Brian Baumbusch, the ensemble's founder and director. LBE is cross-cultural in a musical sense as well, utilizing techniques, textures, and concepts from Balinese and Western traditions. Performing only new repertoire, the group presents in-house compositions and collaborates with other artists.
Mikrokosma is the product of two years of planning and creative enterprise. The hour-long suite of pieces is a musical exploration of the microcosms of Bali-Hindu cosmology, where the universe is reflected and re-created, fractal-like, in all its parts. Mikrokosma is the creation of Wayne Vitale of Gamelan Sekar Jaya and Brian Baumbusch of the Lightbulb Ensemble. Both composers have been immersed in the music of Bali for many years and in the thriving world of experimental, hybrid music. | Mikrokosma is generously supported by a Gerbode-Hewlett Foundations 2013 Music Commissioning Award, and by the East Bay Fund for Artists, a program of the East Bay Community Foundation (supported through a nationwide initiative of the Ford Foundation with grants from the James Irvine Foundation and from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).