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American-born Chinese composer Alex Dea is trained in Western classical music and received a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, with a specialty in Javanese gamelan music. Mentors include prominent avant-garde composers La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Robert Ashley. He studied raga for five years with the late Hindustani master, Pandit Pran Nath. He has also studied the musics of Africa and Japan, and was active in the 1970's experimental music in California and New York, with La Monte Young's Theatre of Eternal Music, and the world and American premieres of Young's monumental The Well-Tuned Piano. Since 1992, he studies with the last remaining Javanese gamelan masters, living with his 107-year old teacher in Java. Documentation includes more than 1,000 hours of video and audio recordings of Javanese performances and interviews. He has special permission in the Jogya Palace, and is the only foreigner to sing in the palaces of Surakarta. He makes new dance collaborations with Indonesia's contemporary and classical artists. Teater Cahaya, an inter-cultural assembly of Asian classical masters co-founded with American expert of noh Richard Emmert, premiered Hesse’s Siddhartha in 2005. Recent work focuses on multi-media performances combining sacred bedhoyo dance video from his ethnographic research. Writings focus on the problems of preservation and modernity on traditional arts, the migration of art aesthetics across cultures, and the hidden knowledge in oral/aural traditions. His Sound As Movement:Movement As Sound workshops based on Indian drone and rasa theory has been held with the Beijing Modern Dance Company and Taipei Dance Circle. As an ethnographer-composer he travels throughout the Asia-Pacific region, maintaining artistic contacts, and observing different cultural practices.

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