Ki Purbo Asmoro

ISI, Surakarta, Central Java, Indonesia

Mayangkara: "Mangesthi Wayang Kagungan Rahayu"
(roughly translated: " a group dedicated to the art of wayang, as it is a source of well-being and tranquility")
established 1992 by Ki Purbo Asmoro
Gebang, Surakarta

Purbo Asmoro's performing troupe, Mayangkara, has been in existence for 19 years. In forming the group, Purbo Asmoro purposefully balanced three types of musicians. There are highly experienced and respected masters who formerly performed with the late Ki Nartosabdho or the late Ki Mujoko (such as Suyatmi, Sajuri, Saguh, Saminto, Bandi, Timbul).

Also crucial to the flavor of the group are ISI professors (such as Suraji) and ISI studio musicians (Yayuk Sri Rahayu, Bambang Siswanto, Mulyono, Lumbini, Puji, Sapto, Kamto, Minarto, Giarno, Kasino, Sawiji, Sri Joko, Maryoto, Hadi Soecipto), who are well-versed in the techniques of garapan and padhat. Suraji and Minarto are the longest-standing members of Mayangkara, having been members since its inception.

Equally important to Purbo Asmoro are the very young musicians whose careers will be built on the basis of being in Mayangkara. He is known for embracing young musicians with enthusiasm, and has helped to "discover" many an upcoming musician.


(all photos on this page courtesy of Danang/Kartika/Hananta)

Mayangkara, Alun-Alun Pacitan, 24 November 2007
debut performance with Ki Purbo Asmoro's new bedhug and cymbal--see center, right
(used to depict key dramatic moments in garapan version of  Sesaji Raja Suya)

(below) A Sample of Photos: Mayangkara in Performance
(apologies to those not yet represented!)

Who Is the Musical Director of Mayangkara?

Although Purbo Asmoro has compiled a troupe of highly talented an experienced professional musicians with whom to perform, he continues to design the musical accompaniment to every wayang completely on his own. He feels very strongly that it is only the dhalang himself who is qualified to choose the pieces and transitions which fit the dramatic needs of the story. Often he designs an extremely detailed outline of the musical accompaniment and gathers Mayangkara for rehearsals; while other occasions are more spontaneous and procede unrehearsed. In the case of the more complicated accompaniment schemes, Suraji will often assist Purbo Asmoro in rewriting the plan so that it is clear, and gathering the notation for more obscure pieces. Nonetheless, it is clear that Purbo Asmoro remains the musical and artistic director of Mayangkara in every sense of the term.


Ki Purbo Asmoro's
Sindhen Section

Ki Purbo Asmoro in "roasting" mode
As is current practice, Ki Purbo Asmoro transforms into a combination of a "stand-up" comedian, an MC, and a talk-show host during Limbukan and Gara-Gara. Anyone and everyone in proximity is fair game when creating  material for jokes. Ki Purbo Asmoro is well-known for his keen sense of observation and his creative spontaneity. The members of Mayangkara know better than anyone, that he varies his material from night to night, consistently creating  fresh and hillariously funny segments.

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