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CSEAS Welcomes New Gamelan!

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies is pleased to welcome Gamelan Semara Pegulingan Taksu Gitaning Shanti to our educational outreach family! This beautiful addition to our community was hand-crafted by master instrument maker (pande), I Wayan Sukerta of Blahbatuh village, Bali.

Our gamelan will be conducted by I Madé Widana, who will take charge of the gamelan instruments, serve as the artistic and pedagogical director and develop the school outreach programming.  I Madé Widana has a long track record of educational work with Balinese gamelan and dance with children in Bali, the US mainland, and Hawai‘i, and he is the artist-in-residence in the UHM Asian Theatre program.

The Essence of the Balinese Gamelan Name

“Semara”, from the word “asmara” or “love”

“Pegulingan”, from the root word “guling” “to lay down or sleep”

The “Semara Pegulingan” gamelan was typically used to play music outside the royal chambers as a soothing sound prior to sleep.

“Taksu” is a Sanskritic Hindu Balinese word and concept roughly translatable to “inner energy” or ” creative soul” or “creative genius” typically thought of as an external entity that chooses a performer to be its vessel. So when a performer has that certain something you can’t quite describe, sometimes even one with less technical prowess than another, but they really captured your eyes and attention as they perform at a particular moment in time, you say “Oh, they have taksu”.

“Gitaning”, “sacred voice”

“Shanti”, “peace”

Special Mahalo

A special mahalo to Cheryl Gibbs, US DoE, and Luis Gamarra, Bali Aga furniture store, Honolulu. Their kindness and generosity in helping to make this gamelan happen will have a long-lasting educational impact on our community.  

Delivery & Unpacking

  • Full gamelan
  • Large gong
  • Small gong
  • keys (side view)
  • crates in moving truck
  • moving crate with big gong
  • moving team
  • unpacking crates
  • big gong crate opened
  • instrument face detail
  • moving crates
  • removing packing materiala
  • room full of crates
  • victory! all crates have been moved into the room!
team gamelan - a group of smiling people pose in front of wooden crates
Team Gamelan
(that is, the unpackers)