Esplanade Presents


Sri Rejeki: Poetry of Sustenance, Provision and Sacred Blessings

Singa Nglaras (Singapore)

30 Apr 2023, Sun, 8pm


(Intermission: None)

Esplanade Concourse

This event is over.


Sri Rejeki is a selection of classical Central Javanese music played in the style of gamelan gadhon, featuring the softer instruments of the ensemble with an emphasis on the singing of poetry. Repertoires like the Sri Rejeki are part of a larger body of Javanese ritual and cultural practices that embody the linkages between people and the natural and spirit worlds, and such compositions are significant to Indonesia’s cultural heritage.  


Rejeki can be translated as sustenance, provision, or blessings. In this piece, the gerongan (male choir) imitates the croaking of frogs during periods of rain. For millennia in Southeast Asia, frogs have been associated with water, which is the source of life and fertility, and understood to bring rain; images of frogs are also found on bronze-age ritual musical instruments. Sri has multiple meanings, but it is also the name of the goddess of rice and fertility, Dewi Sri.


This performance by Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble features the musical compositions that accompany the sacred bedhaya dances of the royal courts, containing powerful mystical knowledge, and characterised by the singing of texts in a slow, archaic style. Before the main piece, the performance begins with Wilujeng (Wellbeing), a tradition that bestows blessings at the beginning of a special occasion.


Sacredness of the gamelan

An ensemble of predominantly percussive instruments (gongs, metallophones, xylophones, drums, etc.), the Javanese gamelan is often played for pleasure and entertainment. However, it has always retained a sacred aura.


Metallurgy has had a long history in Southeast Asia and the transformation of metal ores by fire has been associated with alchemy and religion. It is no surprise then that the forging of bronze or brass instruments for the gamelan requires special rituals. On these instruments, there is often decoration that features auspicious symbols of life force and fertility. Furthermore, all gamelan instruments are treated with respect—some bear respectful personal names, some are given offerings.


Gamelan instruments and music are pusaka (heirlooms), so treating these instruments (and its music) with deference is akin to respecting the ancestors from whom they were inherited. The aura of sacredness surrounding gamelan music is also derivative of its associations with the auspicious occasions on which it is played, such as wayang kulit (shadow puppetry), sacred dances, ceremonies in the royal palaces, or village cleansing.  


No tickets will be issued. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Language: English
Things to Note:
Accessibility Advisory: We provide a range of access services and relaxed performances for patrons with access needs. For wheelchair-accessible seats, please call Esplanade Customer Experience at 6828 8377 for assistance. Concessions for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) and up to one accompanying companion are available. | View our accessibility guide
Artist Information

Singa Nglaras

Singa Nglaras means relaxing lion; the word nglaras means “to relax” and “to harmonise or tune”. Formed in 2004 by A/P Jan Mrazek with assistance from Thow Xin Wei, the Singa Nglaras Gamelan Ensemble is supported by the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Department of Southeast Asian Studies. Its players include students, alumni, and faculty across NUS, together with members from outside the university. The ensemble gathers for weekly latihan (practice sessions) where its members learn, socialise, and relax to this music. 

Date & Time

30 Apr 2023, Sun


Esplanade Concourse

Become a member

Three membership cards depicting each membership tier, Discover, White and Black.

Great arts experiences begin with Esplanade&Me. Join this membership to enjoy ticket specials on shows at Esplanade, early bird specials, promotions at Esplanade Mall, unlimited access to Offstage and more.

Never miss a show again. Get on our mailing list.