Suwitra Jaya - UNSW Gamelan Orchestra
The UNSW Balinese gamelan, called Suwitra Jaya (‘noble friendship’) was commissioned by the School of Arts and Media (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) in 2012. Suwitra Jaya has performed regularly in collaboration with dancers and musicians from the Balinese community in Sydney as well as performing artists from Bali.
The Suwitra Jaya gamelan is based on the Balinese semar pegulingan gamelan, a particular type that has its origins in the old Balinese royal courts and comprises up to 25 musicians. Since its inauguration in May 2015, Suwitra Jaya has performed regularly in collaboration with dancers and musicians from the Balinese community in Sydney as well as performing artists from Bali.
In July of 2015, Suwitra Jaya performed at the Bali International Arts Festival in Denpasar, the first Australian gamelan ensemble to be given the honour of performing at this prestigious Festival.
The ensemble is committed to performing traditional Balinese gamelan compositions as well as new works and arrangements for Balinese gamelan and other non-traditional musical instruments. The gamelan program in the Festival performance reflects that commitment.