The Sounds of Sunda


Sunda is the western portion of the island of Java, in Indonesia. For this New Sounds, listen to the music from both that region and from western bands like Tribecastan, the Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan of Canada, from Sabah Habas Mustapha, a member of London group 3 Mustaphas 3, and much more.  Hear music by Sasha Bogdanowitsch written for the group Pusaka Sunda.  The work, “If There Be Rivers, All Will Blossom,” is for Gamelan Degung, the chamber-sized gamelan ensemble which usually features the suling (flute), and is about the importance of keeping faith in life, and maintaining creativity in hardship. 

Also, from the Sambasunda Quintet, listen to a work called “Teman Endah” (Beautiful Garden), centered on the kacapi, a traditional boat-shaped zither.  Plus, a work by Lou Harrison for Carlos Chavez (the Mexican composer/conductor who premiered the first major orchestral piece entirely imitating the gamelan sounds of Indonesia, Tabuh-Tabuhan by Colin McPhee), which unites the Western violin with the Eastern gamelan.  And more.

PROGRAM #3518– (First aired on 10/4/2013)             





E. Koestyara & Group Gapura


Hayam Sebrang [6:00]

Icon LP #5501 (1984)
Long out of print, but download is available from, or iTunes

Pusaka Sunda


Sasha Bogdanowitsch: If There Be Rivers, All Will Blossom [5:36]

Sakti Records 1999
Download is also available from, or iTunes

Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan

Sunda Song

Sorban Palid [8:08]

Naxos World #76061

Imas Permas and Asep Kosasih-Nimbus

Tembang Sunda: Sundanese Classical Songs

Bubuka, Rajah Kunasari [5:21]

Nimbus 1053782NIM

Nimbus Records’ site:
Available at


New Songs from the Old Country

Kecapi Rain [3:03]

Evergreene Music 008

Sambasunda Quintet


Teman Endah (Beautiful Garden) [5:36]


Sabah Habas Mustapha & the Jugala All Stars

Jalan Kopo

Bandung [5:10]

Omnium Online / Omnium - 2020
Available at iTunes


Strange Cousins

Sunda Sunday [2:49]

Evergreene Music 002

Lou Harrison, suling player; Gamelan Sekar Kembar; Susan Bates, violin;


Three Pieces for Gamelan

Harrison: Threnody for Carlos Chavez  [7:05]

CRI 613
Reissued on New World Records 80643, as “Lou Harrison: Chamber and Gamelan Works”