Gamelan Sekar Jaya | Serasi

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World: Asian- Southeast Classical: Percussion Ensemble Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Gamelan Sekar Jaya

SERASI (“Harmony”) presents traditional and new material for the Balinese Gamelan, with a focus on themes that are central to Balinese belief: interdependence, balance, and harmony between humans, nature, and the spiritual world.
Genre: World: Asian- Southeast
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Niti Sari
8:00 $1.99
2. C'ret Nong
6:03 $0.99
3. Gandrung Manis
8:57 $1.99
4. Tawur
7:11 $0.99
5. Jarun Dauh
12:35 $1.99
6. Bebarisan
8:58 $1.99
7. Jaya Baya
17:50 $2.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gamelan Sekar Jaya
Traditional and new material for Balinese Gamelan, with a focus on themes that are central to Balinese belief: interdependence, balance, and harmony between humans, nature, and the spiritual world.


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, requiring from two to over thirty players.

Gamelan Sekar Jaya’s music and dance range from traditional Balinese repertoire to cutting-edge compositions. The sixty plus company of musicians and dancers of GSJ play on several sets of Balinese instruments, consisting of various combinations of bronze-keyed metallophones, bamboo marimbas, gongs, drums, and flutes. Gamelan Sekar Jaya is the only foreign group to ever receive the Dharma Kusuma, Bali's highest award for artistic achievement. The company is renowned for its exploration of traditional and modern forms through long-term residencies with Bali's finest musicians and dancers. Formed in 1979, the orchestra has performed in various settings and venues from the bustling village squares in Bali to the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

Gamelan Angklung: This orchestra of about 18 musicians utilizes only four (or rarely five) tones on single-octave instruments, tuned to the slendro scale; but manages a richly varied repertoire within that narrow tonal field. The sound is unusually sweet and—to Balinese ears—melancholy. Music of the gamelan angklung plays a special role in the Bali-Hindu religion, where it traditionally accompanies temple ceremonies and cremation rituals.

Gamelan Jegog: One of the largest—and rarest—of the two ensembles, gamelan jegog is comprised of giant bamboo marimbas with tubes up to ten feet long. Originating in West Bali, jegog is noted for its rhythmic energy, unusual four-tone scale, and powerful sonority. Its bass tones can be heard for miles across Balinese rice fields. Sekar Jaya's jegog is the only such performing ensemble in the Americas.

Gamelan Gong Kebyar: This ensemble of about 25 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. Today the gong kebyar is played in a multitude of contexts both secular and sacred.

Gender Wayang: Music for the Balinese shadow-puppet theater (wayang kulit) is provided by a quartet of musicians playing ten-keyed metallophones known as gendèr. Because of its dramatic role in the enactment of stories from the Mahabharata and Ramayana epics, music for the gendèr wayang ensemble has developed a variety of forms and characters, and is often regarded as the most technically demanding of any instrumental music in Bali.


1. Niti Sari
Gamelan Angklung
Composition/Arrangement: I Dewa Putu Berata (2009)
This composition is inspired by the communal Rejang dance seen in temples in Bali. Each village has a special version that is unique in movement and music that is danced by girls and women of all ages as a ritual offering. The music is gentle, refined, and melodically rich, in reflection of the qualities of the dance and its context.
Recorded at GSJ Banjar in 2009
Engineer: Darren Gibbs

2. C’ret Nong
Gamelan Jegog
Composition/Arrangement: I Made Terip (2004).
Adapted from the angklung repertoire, C’ret Nong is based on a traditional jegog composition inspired by, and named for, the syncopated sound of an insect (nongceret) found in the mountains, often heard in the late afternoon.
Recorded at School of the Arts, SF in 2009
Engineer: Robert Shumaker

3. Gandrung Manis
Gamelan Gong Suling (an ensemble of bamboo flutes, drums, cymbals, and gongs.)
Composition/Arrangement: Music by I Nyoman Windha (2004)
This work is a combination of two related Indonesian dance forms known as gandrung, both based on flirtation and the fluidity of gender roles. One is gandrung Bali, once extremely popular but now almost extinct, performed by a young male dancer in drag. The other is gandrung from the Western Javanese area of Banyuangi, still very much alive and performed by female dancers.
Recording info: 5/11/4 Fantasy Studios

4. Tawur
Gamelan Gong Kebyar
Composition/Arrangement: I Made Arnawa (2009)
Inspired by caru—an offering ceremony to honor the spirits of the underworld and thereby achieve balance within the upper, middle and lower worlds—this piece is experimental in nature, richly textured, and diverges from traditional gong kebyar pieces in its form. Tawur encompasses a multi-metric design and form guided by the five directions (North, East, South, West, and Center) and other aspects of Balinese cosmology.
Recorded at Rhythmix Cultural Works in 2009
Engineer: Darren Gibbs

5. Jaran Dauh
Gamelan Jegog
Composer: Pak Ridia
Arranger: I Wayan Gama Astawa; I Made Terip (2005)
This arrangement of Jaran Dauh was arranged by I Wayan Gama Astawa, a gamelan leader from the village of Tegalcangkring, and by I Made Terip, the virtuosic North Bali musician. Jaran Dauh (Rearing Horse) was originally known as Jaran Dauk (Black-Maned Horse), after the horse used in battle by the Balinese king Raden Pata. Both are fitting images for the work’s dazzling array of musical and orchestral techniques, and its unbridled energy.
Recorded at School of the Arts, SF in 2009
Engineer: Robert Shumaker

6. Bebarisan
Gamelan Gong Kebyar.
Composition/Arrangement: I Dewa Putu Berata.
Each spring, a day of complete silence and meditation known as Nyepi is observed in Bali. It is preceded by its antipode: The previous evening is one of raucous noise, processions, and excited energy, intended to stir up but also placate malevolent spirits. Bebarisan is based on this frenetic evening, called Ngerupuk. Its stylistic source is Baris, a ritual warrior dance performed in the temple by rows of men, but also suggests the giant effigies (ogoh-ogoh) that are created to embody malevolent spirits that are ritually burned later in the Ngerupuk evening.
Recorded at Bay Records in 2009
Engineer: Mike Cogan

7. Jaya Baya
Gamelan Angklung, flute, violin, and voice.
Composition/Arrangement: I Nyoman Windha
In memory of the many victims of the 2002 bombings in Bali, I Nyoman Windha composed a lyric tribute, utilizing a full pentatonic slendro scale (the four-tone angklung scale plus one), with its asso¬ciations to sweetness, melancholy, and rituals associated with death. Windha allows his gifts for melodic construction to shine through in transparent textures and simple but effective instrumental colors.
Recorded at Bay Records in 2002
Engineer: Mike Cogan

Featuring 70+ company musicians from Gamelan Sekar Jaya and the following Guest Artists from Bali: I Made Arnawa, I Dewa Putu Berata, Agus Cahyadi, Wahyu Indira, Gusti Agung Ayu Warsiki, Nyoman Windha.

Many thanks to those who helped in the production of these recordings: Dan Bales, Mike Cogan, Ricardo Esway, Darren Gibbs, Paddy Sandino, Wayne Vitale, SF School of the Arts, Rhythmix Cultural Works, Bay Records. Sincere gratitude goes out to the 50+ Balinese Master Artists who have contributed their artistry, creativity, leadership, and guidance to the members of Gamelan Sekar Jaya—we would not be here without you.

This album is made possible through the generous support from these foundations:
The Lutz Family Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Zellerbach Family Foundation, & The Walter and Elise Haas Fund.

Mastering: Myles Boisen
Graphic Design & CD Production: Sara Gambina-Belknap

Gamelan Sekar Jaya © 2011
3023 Shattuck Ave Berkeley, CA 94705



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