The musicians of Gamelan Sekar Jaya play on various types of gamelan—sets of bronze or bamboo percussion instruments that are made and tuned together to form an integral, and indivisible, whole. Each presents a unique universe of tuning, sound color, and style. Some members play in only one of our gamelan ensembles, others in more than one. Occasionally, as in our 30th anniversary celebration, all of the organization’s ensembles perform in the same concert.
Gamelan Sekar Jaya also hosts a dance ensemble, which meets on its own schedule but also joins music rehearsals, particularly when a performance draws near, to coordinate the movement, posture, characterization, and feeling of the dance as closely as possible with the music—and to give the musicians a parallel opportunity to adjust to the dancers. The two must be completely wedded to make the best performance.