Music from the island of Bali

Probably the most widely known kind of Indonesian music is gamelan, with its metallophones, gongs, drums and bamboo flutes played by an ensemble of 20 or more musicians.

But the Balinese consider the sound of the beautiful Gender Wayang - ensemble as perhaps "closer to the gods". Performed by a small group of two or four players, its music has the delicate tonal filigree of chamber music.

Gender Wayang is technically demanding, blending rhythmically intertwined melodies with lively contrapuntal movement. The music has a resonating, shimmering, vibrating quality rich in overtones which is created by striking bronze keys with bare wooden mallets, all within the framework of pentatonic slendro tuning.

The Gender Wayang instrument

Ten hand-forged metal keys, arranged according to the slendro scale (octaves divided into five approximately even intervals) are suspended with taut leather cords above bamboo resonators, each of which has been tuned to the frequency of the matching key.

Two 10-key instruments, one slightly out of tune with the other (each key is 4-6 Hz out of phase with its counterpart on the other instrument) combine to form a pair.

Are you looking for

an exclusive and unusual musical framework for your social event, a refined and exceptional performance to enliven the setting for an exhibition or meeting? - you might be looking for the Gender Wayang.

Dynamic without being obtrusive, discreet though never monotonous - sensuous sounds from an exotic world... music from Bali - the island of the gods.

Elena Szirmai and Otmar Kramis, both professional musicians, spent over a year in Bali studying under masters of the art of Gender Wayang.

They have assembled an extensive repertoire of traditional pieces that the Balinese have been performing for centuries to accompany the wayang kulit (shadow-puppet theatre), and at temple feasts and ceremonies like tooth-filings, baptisms, cremations and marriages.


send us a note: Contact

Elena Szirmai, Gibraltarstrasse 19, 6003 Luzern, Schweiz
tel ++41 41 240 20 86
fax ++41 41 240 20 89

Look at and listen to the master!