Amir Sowan (Amir Pays His Respect): A Wayang Golek Menak Rod Puppet Play (Excerpts)

Wayang golek menak or “menak” rod puppet theatre is a form of traditional puppetry practiced in central Java, including Yogyakarta. It most likely originated in the nineteenth century, developing out of earlier puppet forms. The word menak refers in Javanese to the heroic and amorous adventures of the Islamic hero Amir Hamza, also known as Amir Ambyah or Wong Agung Menak (“Big Man” Menak), who is the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad w. The menak story cycle forms the core repertoire of wayang golek menak as a theatrical genre.

Recently retired from Yale, Thomas Murray looks back on his storied career.

Thomas Murray joined the School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music faculty in 1981 and became university organist in 1990. In addition to a prominent career as a soloist, for thirty-seven years he has been teaching graduate organ majors who have gone on from Yale to leading positions in the academy, in churches and cathedrals, and in the field of performance throughout the world.

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