The suite begins with Ladrang Peksi Kuwung. The piece features a vocal part, sung by both male and female singers, by Ki Nartosabdho(1925-1985), one of Indonesia’s foremost composers, and a popularizer of Javanese classical gamelan. At a signal from the drummer, the ensemble transitions to a piece sometimes used in shadow theater (wayang kulit), Ayak-ayakan Anjang Mas, considered one of the most difficult compositions in the repertoire, owing partly to the many special, little melodies that are played by rebab, gendèr, gambang and sindhen. During the quiet section of Anjang Mas, these instruments come to the fore, while the metallophones drop out. At a signal from the drummer, the entire ensemble comes back in for Ayak-ayakan nem, and then transitions to Srepegan. From there, the drum signals a loud transitional phrase to Palaran Gambuh. Palaran is a musical interlude during which most instruments drop out except various gongs, drums, and some of the soft-playing instruments, and features a female solo vocalist. Another loud, short melodic phrase signals the transition to Palaran Pucung. The whole ensemble returns, at a drum signal, to conclude the suite in Srepegan Nem. The piece ends with a pathetan.
Gamelan Kusuma Laras is a classical Javanese gamelan orchestra based in New York City that performs music, dance, and
theatre from the classical repertoire of the courts of Central Java to American audiences. The instruments were created especially for the Indonesia Pavilion at the World’s Fair of 1964-65 in New York. Kusuma Laras was founded in 1983....more
Peni Candrarini is an Indonesian composer, song writer and singer. She is also a lecturer in the department of Karawitan at the Indonesian Institute of Art. She performs with Kusuma Laras regularly. Gamelan Kusuma Laras