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BYU Gamelan Bintang Wahyu concert features Balinese percussion April 13

Xylophones, drums, gongs and bamboo flutes are coming to Brigham Young University in the Balinese Gamelan Bintang Wahyu concert Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pardoe Theatre.

Tickets cost $6 and are available at or (801) 422-4322.

Hosted by the School of Music, this music and dancing performance was made possible by a grant from the Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration in the Arts.

The evening’s program will be announced from the stage and selected from among the following:

“Jaya Semara,” by I Wayan Beratha, 1964

This piece, now a standard work in the Balinese gamelan repertoire, was composed by the master instrument builder whose shop produced the beautiful instruments Gamelan Bintang Wahyu uses on stage. The instruments were crafted the piece in the flashy, virtuosic “kebyar” style that took Bali by storm in the early 20th century. It has extended cadenza-like sections, with each part of the ensemble taking a turn in the spotlight.

“Tari Puspanjali,” by I Nyoman Windha and N.L. Swasti Bandem, 1989

Danced by Luh Made Dwi Wahyui, this welcome dance is a classical three-part Balinese compositional form in which a brisk opening and even faster ending bookend a beautiful, slow middle section.

“Gambang Kuta,” by I Wayan Lotring, 1926

This beloved piece by one of Bali’s most revered composers, a native of the city of Kuta, borrows from an older style of wood-and-bamboo gamelan and gambang, with a nod to the royal dance tradition known as “legong.”

“Tari Baris Tunggal,” traditional

Danced by I Made Tangkas Ade Wijaya, this piece is one of the most oft-performed in Bali and is used in the training of young dancers. It depicts a warrior whose strength and energy bubble just under the surface as he keeps guard but occasionally explode in furious motions when he senses danger.

Gamelan Bintang Wahyu is an ensemble of musicians from all across the BYU community who are dedicated to learning and performing the music of Bali, a small but artistically rich island off the Indonesian peninsula. The ensemble was founded in 2008 by faculty member Jeremy Grimshaw and performs on instruments handcrafted by Balinese tuners and carvers in the shop of I Wayan Beratha, Bali’s most revered composer and instrument builder.

For more information about the concert, contact Jeremy Grimshaw at (801) 422-5121 or Follow Gamelan Bintang Wahyu on Facebook at

Follow BYU events on Twitter: @BYUcalendar.


Writer: Philip Volmar

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