Beginning with twelve months of independent study in Bali for his junior year at Bennington College in 1972, Edward Herbst began what has become his life’s work in Indonesia: researching, performing, teaching, and writing about the music, performing arts, culture and history of Bali.
A Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in 1980-81 allowed him to spend another year and a half in Bali, resulting in his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, which led to publication of his acclaimed book, Voices in Bali: Energies and Perceptions in Vocal Music and Dance Theater.
Since 2002, he has led an international and interdisciplinary project to research, find, understand, document, explain, restore, re-release, and repatriate the first published recordings of music in Bali along with rare film footage and photographs of musicians and dance-drama performances from the 1930s.
He is now writing a book that will include edited versions of all five volumes of the Bali 1928 CD notes. The book will also focus on the research and repatriation strategies used in this project, and the broader imperatives of a repatriation process facilitated by collaboration among foreign and indigenous artists and scholars.