[tourismindonesia] Mekar Bhuana’s Semara Pagulingan troupe

Hi Group Members

I would like to let you know that Mekar Bhuana's Semara Pagulingan troupe (Semara Pagulingan Mekar Bhuana on FB) will perform at this year's Bali Arts Festival on July 9th at 2pm on the Ayodya Stage (an intimate outdoor stage at the back of the large outdoor Arda Candra theatre).

Mekar Bhuana will present rare and previously extinct semara pagulingan repertoire from four different Denpasar village styles. As always, Mekar Bhuana is attempting to bring village styles to the forefront and keep them alive, as very few people, including Balinese, know about the existence of this extremely rare yet incredibly beautiful music – products of a time when Bali was a much slower paced and more natural place. Uniquely the troupe's current membership is made up of both sexes and a range in age from 7 to 70 years old.

Mekar Bhuana's semara pagulingan troupe will perform the following repertoire: Tabuh Gari (Pagan Kelod style, saih selisir with 3 pengawak), Sinom Lawe (Puri Gerenceng, saih tembung), Sumamabang Jawa (previously extinct in the Pagan Kelod style, saih lebeng pengawak – studied from a field recording made by Prof. Pande Made Sukerta in 1977), Semarandana (Pagan Kelod style, saih baro), Blandongan (Pagan Kelod style, saih tembung with 4 pengawak), Ginanti (previously extinct in the Banjar Titih style, saih tembung - (studied from a 1928 Odeon-Beka recording restored by Arbiter Records and generously donated to Mekar Bhuana by Arbiter (www.arbiterrecords.org) and Edward Herbst), Perong Subandar (previously extinct in the Pagan Kelod style, saih selisir with 6 pengawak – studied from a field recording made by Prof. Pande Made Sukerta in 1977), Bramara (previously extinct in the Kaliungu Kelod style, saih tembung), Lengker Gede (previously extinct in the Pagan Kelod style, saih selisir with 6 pengawak – studied from a field recording made by Prof. Pande Made Sukerta in 1977), and Tabuh Gari Penutup (Pagan Kelod style, saih tembung).

For those of you who don't have Mekar Bhuana's CD (2009) and DVD (2010), five of these pieces are documented or part documented (in abridged versions to suit dance) on these albums that are available on our online store: www.mekarbhuana.com

This year Mekar Bhuana's semara pagulingan troupe will be coached by I Wayan Suweca (senior ISI lecturer and Balinese gamelan expert) and I Made Sumara (leader of the Pagan Kelod semara pagulingan group).

Don't miss the performance, as unlike most other performances at the Bali Arts Festival, complete information about the structure, modes and historical background of the repertoire will be provided in brochure format, kindly sponsored by Balinese company Xb Printing. And since it will be performed on a complete court orchestra (including saron, gentorag, gumank, kempyung, kangsi and suling gambuh) that is more than 100 years old, it will be an aural treat for lovers of fine Balinese classical music.

You can hear and see examples of the semara pagulingan troupe on Mekar Bhuana's YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/MekarBhuana) and on Mekar Bhuana's website: www.balimusicanddance.com). We are also on FB (https://www.facebook.com/mekar.bhuana), Twitter (https://twitter.com/MekarBhuana) and Linkedin (id.linkedin.com/in/mekarbhuana/)


Whilst there is a small contribution from the festival as a token performance fee, this does not cover Mekar Bhuana's costs in preparation for this performance which involves not only hours of practice, but months of reconstruction (the troupe is reconstructing Bramara, for example, from the singing of 85-year-old Wayan Gunastra from Kaliungu Kelod who remembers the repertoire orally from his grandfather who once played semara pagulingan), as well as professional coaching.

To help fund this worthy project Mekar Bhuana gladly accepts donations which can either be made directly via http://www.balimusicanddance.com/sponsor-patron or by purchasing products – including Mekar Bhuana's recordings – from their online store (www.mekarbhuana.com). This store, which some of you already shop at regularly, not only supports talented Balinese artisans but also helps to keep Mekar Bhuana sustainable in the absence of outside funding. Here you can find and buy your favorite gamelan, dance or puppetry products.

Thank you for your support of Mekar Bhuana's semara pagulingan performance at the 2013 Bali Arts Festival!




Vaughan Hatch


M. +62 81 999 191 106

T. +62 361 464 201

Jalan Gandapura III/501x

Kesiman Kertalangu

Denpasar 80237

Bali, Indonesia





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