Ayu Laksmi is a Balinese diva of Indonesian world music, she is not only a singer , as well as a gifted song writer, dancer, actress and theatre performer. Starting as a rock singer, Ayu has travelled through many musical genres before she finally arrived where she is now. Her music employs many musical idioms from across Indonesian culture and religions.
Her new solo album entitle SVARA SEMESTA, features undeniably religious and spiritual undertones, presented in contemporary presentation or better known as World Music. Her songs written in no less than 5 different languages, including Sanskrit, Kawi, Balinese, Indonesian and English.
Ayu’s contemporary version of an ancient Kawi poem soon became an integral part of her spectacular show, with a haunting performance that showcases Ayu’s vocal abilities and stage presence.
On stage Ayu’s husky alto is sometimes deep and heavy, at others sharp and shrieking, then again smooth and sensual, all fusing into a contemporary musical style that has become her trademark. However, the strength of Ayu Laksmi and SvaraSemesta is in the live performance where she can make audiences seriously engage with her music and dance to the joy.
Along with the launch of her new solo album Ayu Laksmi formed a new musical group also named Svara Semesta. Her Live performances involved some talented and young musicians from different corners of the country but mostly from Bali.
The group consists of : Ketut Rico Mantrawan (keyboard), I Gede Agus Yudhana (acoustic guitar)Dody Sambodo (bass guitar) Ajat Lesmana (percussion & didgeridoo), Ida Bagus Putu Brahmanta (drum), Afan Latanete (percussion), I Dewa Gede Agung Perdana Putra (electric guitar),Gamelan-Balinese Traditional Orchestra : I Nyoman Suwida, I Wayan Sudarsana, I Wayan Suastika, I Nyoman Suarsana.
Ayu Laksmi was born as I Gusti Ayu Laksmiyani in Singaraja, Bali on November 25th, 1967. She grew up surrounded by a family that loved the arts, and music in particular.She began singing at the age of four and has never stopped performing since, actively participating in performances on numerous stages of festivals both locally in Bali and Indonesia as well as all around the world.In the early years of her career she explored her singing talent whilst working in the nationwide entertainment industry, but she always chose Bali as the place to further develop her skills as an entertainer.
When in 1989 the name of Ayu Laksmi started popping up as ‘the lady rocker” in the national world of music, she managed to become the first Balinese singer to break through in the Indonesian music industry. A number of singles and the soundtrack of a popular movie in those days, sounded very familiar to the ears of many music lovers in Indonesia back then.In 1991 she released her first solo album entitled “Istana Yang Hilang (The Lost Palace)”, which unfortunately did not do very well in the music stores. After the unsuccessful release of the album, she disappeared entirely from the national music scene. Bali was always pulling her back, she said. So she went back to the Island of the Gods to continue her studies at the Law Faculty of the UNUD university in Denpasar, from which she graduated in 1993.After graduation, Ayu started to explore some other skills, She turned her attention towards songwriting and composing music. Ayu had to start all over again from scratch. She began singing from café, hotel ,finally she ended up as a singer on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, where she had to sing popular foreign songs in English, in Spanish and even in French. Later Ayu will look back on this period abroad as a crucial step in the process towards her achievements today.
Then in 2004 it looked like Ayu encountered a decisive turning point in her musical career. She found herself questioning why she should continue to look for inspiration in foreign languages and cultures, while her own culture in Bali is such a rich and extraordinary gift of inspiration from the Almighty.She started to create some new compositions with a totally different color & sound than her previous work. So even though Ayu started out in the industry of popular entertainment, the most important lesson she took from her entire career as a singer was this growing awareness and desire to return to music as a reflection of the universal nature of mankind. She felt that singing was a kind of musical offering, like in religion, more like a dedication.
At the same time, Ayu also jumped at the opportunity to enter the world of acting. Under the direction of the renowned Garin Nugroho in the movie “Under The Tree, she even got rewarded with a nomination for Best Leading Actress at the Indonesian Film Festival of 2008.
Now free from doubt and with renewed confidence, Ayu soon found herself regularly invited to perform on several World Music festivals, where she would bring a personal rendition of religious chants that received much appreciation. Her contemporary version of a hundreds of years old poem taken from the Kitab Arjuna Wiwaha, written in the ancient language of Kawi and sung by Ayu Laksmi, soon became and integral part of her spectacular show, with a haunting performance that showcases Ayu’s vocal abilities and stage presence.
After that Ayu felt that her entire previous life on the stage had given her all the lessons she would need to go at it solo again. Ayu is hoping that her work can create harmony, with a positive message that’s universal for all mankind. And so it is that now Ayu Laksmi is launching second solo album, this time with an undeniably religious & spiritual undertone.
For this album Ayu has worked totally independent, being the producer and writing almost all of the songs herself. In spite of only a basic knowledge of music, she has even composed the original tunes herself at the start of the creative process. The result is an album in which Ayu unleashes her husky alto with its wide vocal range, sometimes deep & heavy as if not the voice of a woman, at other times sharp & shrieking, then again smooth & sensual, all fusing into a contemporary musical style that has become the trademark of Ayu Laksmi.Ayu brings her songs in a new musical style known as World Music, written in no less than 5 different languages, including Sanskrit, Kawi, Balinese, Indonesian and English. Most of the compositions are based on the Balinese concept of Tri Hita Karana, dedicated to the love and care between people, the relationships between man and the universe, and between man and God. After 18 years, Ayu Laksmi finally has come full circle with the courage to present her solo album entitled Svara Semesta i.e (Voice of the Universe)