Traditional: Works for Gamelan Ensemble

Works for Gamelan Ensemble

About Gamelan and Dance:
A gamelan is an orchestra comprised of bronze, iron, wood, and/or bamboo percussion instruments, found throughout the Indonesian islands of Bali and Java. There are more than twenty-five different types of gamelan in Bali, ranging from two to more than thirty players. These performances will showcase Gamelan Sekar Jaya's musicians performing on the gamelan gong kebyar. This ensemble of about twenty-five musicians is the most prevalent type of orchestra in Bali. It takes its name from the lowest-toned instrument in the ensemble, the gong, whose resonant tone is of key importance in the basic structure of the music; and the flamboyant kebyar style developed in the early twentieth century. Gong kebyar is played in contexts both secular and sacred.

Balinese dance encompasses a wide range of styles and forms. Details of music and dance are tightly coordinated; an ideal of complete unity is sought in every gesture, nuance, expression, phrase, and rhythm. Dance plays a central role not only in sacred activities—in a temple or at a sacred spring—but in secular ones.

In these performances Gamelan Sekar Jaya will perform one of the following works:

Legong Pengeleb: Dance work arranged for gamelan gong kebyar (June 12 and 14)
A stunning tribute to North Bali’s leadership, Legong Pengeleb is a masterpiece of the kebyar genre, featuring dynamic rhythms, precise and ornamented connections between music and dance, and constant melodic shifts. This piece, originally created in the early twentieth century, was part of the musical explosion that has thrived for nearly a century now in Bali. The choreography and music are delicate, lyrical, and powerfully determined, drawing the spirits of both the human and the natural world in to what is one of the hallmarks of Balinese artistic genius. The piece was created by Pan Cening Winten and Pan Wandres and reconstructed by Made Kranca, Pan Carik, and Kocok.

Tabuh Pat Jagul: Traditional instrumental piece for gong kebyar (June 13 and 15)
This classical instrumental piece is from the lelambatan tradition, considered the true classical repertory of the Balinese bronze gamelan. The broad and stately architecture of lelambatan music, ranging in style from older simple, unadorned renditions to the baroque complexity of modern kebyar-influenced arrangements, is considered an essential component of temple ceremonies. Tabuh Pat Jagul is one of its most lyrical representatives.

(June 2014)