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Lagu Senyum pertama

for Cirebon Gamelan

Year:  2021 Instrumentation:  Cirebon Gamelan Ensemble

Year:  2021
Instrumentation  Cirebon Gamelan Ensemble

Composer:   Anton Killin


This work, composed for and dedicated to those who played in The First Smile gamelan group in 2021, was created by way of a compositional system which set each performer's first name into a melodic phrase -- which the various instruments play, decorate, or punctuate in more-or-less conventional ways -- and by stringing these phrases together in a way that aims to add more space around the music as it progresses through a single cycle, though not in a completely linear fashion, and only until the final phrase of the cycle which adds more back in anticipation of another turn through the music. It is also dedicated to the memory of my former teacher Allan Thomas, whose name provides the melodic material for the buka (or "opening phrase"). When we meet to play the Cirebon gamelan, the memory of Allan is always with us.

The piece was premiered at the book launch of Sonic Dissonance: The Music and Life of Composer Yudane, by Robyn Yuwell ( This event took place at Roseneath's The Long Hall, where the instruments live and the group meets to play. The premiere saw the full musical cycle comprising the piece played through twice -- the first time bringing out the core melody more; the second time paring that back, and adding a gambang solo.