Ayu Laksmi

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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)

Ayu Laksmi, lahir pada tanggal 25 Nopember 1967 di Singaraja-Bali, dengan nama I Gusti Ayu Laksmiyani. Ia dibesarkan dalam lingkungan keluarga yang mencintai seni, terutama seni musik. Sejak mengenal panggung di usia 4 tahun, putri bungsu Alm. I Gusti Putu Wiryasutha dan I Gusti Ayu Sri Haryati ini, tidak pernah berhenti berkesenian. Ia aktif berpartisipasi dalam berbagai festival seni, baik dalam skala lokal, nasional, maupun internasional.

Di awal karirnya, Ayu konsisten mengasah talenta dalam dunia seni suara, sembari bekerja di dunia industri hiburan. Namun ia tetap memilih Bali sebagai tempat untuk mengembangkan keahliannya sebagai entertainer.

Nama Ayu Laksmi sempat dikenal sebagai salah satu lady rocker di blantika musik nasional di tahun 1989. Ia juga merupakan penyanyi Bali pertama yang berhasil menembus industri musik nasional, dimana beberapa single dan soundtrack film yang dinyanyikannya, cukup akrab di telinga para pecinta musik Indonesia pada masa itu.

Di tahun 1991, ia meluncurkan albumnya yang pertama dengan judul Istana yang Hilang. Namun, album itu tak laku di pasaran. Setelah album itu beredar ia benar-benar menghilang dari dunia industri musik Indonesia. Ia kembali ke Pulau Dewata di tahun 1992, untuk melanjutkan kuliah di Fakultas Hukum Universitas Udayana, dan lulus di tahun 1993.

Setelah menyelesaikan pendidikan, Ayu mulai mengeksplorasi keahlian lain dengan menciptakan karya musik.  Ia memulai semuanya dari awal; bernyanyi dari kafe, hotel , bahkan pernah membuka usaha musik bar kecil-kecilan. Ayu juga sempat berpetualang sebagai penyanyi di kapal pesiar, mengarungi Lautan Karibia. Bernyanyi dalam Bahasa Inggris, Spanyol dan Perancis. Jika direnungkan kembali, ia menganggap pengalaman di luar negeri merupakan bagian penting dan menjadi proses yang mengarahkan dirinya pada apa yang dicapainya sekarang.

Di tahun 2004, Ayu seakan menemukan titik balik dalam karirnya. Ia berpikir, kenapa harus mencari inspirasi dari bahasa dan budaya asing, sementara budayanya sendiri begitu kaya dan merupakan anugerah, serta inspirasi yang besar dari Sang Pencipta.  Ayu mulai menciptakan beberapa komposisi musik dengan warna yang sangat jauh berbeda dari karya-karya sebelumnya. Walau berangkat dari dunia musik populer, pelajaran penting dari seluruh perjalanan karirnya sebagai penyanyi adalah, tumbuhnya kesadaran dan ketertarikan untuk kembali kepada musik, sebagai refleksi kehidupan manusia yang universal. Berkesenian ibarat sebuah sajian, seperti dalam ajaran agama. Ia menjadikan seni, sebagai persembahan. Tak berhenti di sana, Ayu juga sempat memasuki dunia seni peran. Di bawah arahan sutradara kenamaan Garin Nugroho dalam film “Under The Tree”, ia memperoleh penghargaan sebagai salah satu nominator pemeran utama wanita terbaik FFI tahun 2008.

Beberapa  festival musik baik di Bali atau luar Bali sering menampilkan Ayu Laksmi, dimana kidung sakral yang ia nyanyikan mendapat apresiasi yang luar biasa. Kakawin berusia ribuan tahun  dari Kitab Arjuna Wiwaha tertulis dalam Bahasa Kawi, dinyanyikan kembali oleh Ayu Laksmi dengan gaya kontemporer. Penampilan ini sering menjadi bagian yang paling spektakuler, dimana Ayu mampu mengolah vocal dan aksi penggungnya yang magis menjadi sebuah kekuatan.

Sejak itu Ayu merasa semua penjelajahan dari panggung ke panggung, telah memberinya pelajaran berharga. Ia kembali berkeinginan membuat album solo, dan berharap karya-karyanya bisa mencipta harmoni dengan menebar pesan postif yang universal dalam semesta kehidupan manusia. Demikianlah Ayu Laksmi kini meluncurkan albumnya yang kedua , dimana dalam album ini, Ayu total berkarya mandiri. Ia menjadi produser, menulis hampir seluruh lagu, bahkan menciptakan komposisi musik dasar di awal proses penciptaan dengan segala keterbatasan musikal yang dimiliknya. Dalam album ini pula, Ayu menunjukkan berbagai gaya olah vocal dan ia menyajikan lagu-lagunya dengan memadukan unsur tradisi dan moderen. Syairnya dikemas dalam 5 bahasa, terdiri dari Bahasa Sansekerta, Kawi, Bali, Indonesia, dan Inggris. Sebagian besar karyanya berlandaskan konsep Tri Hita Karana, bercerita tentang hubungan cinta kasih antara manusia dengan manusia, manusia dengan semesta, manusia dengan Tuhan.

Setelah 18 tahun, akhirnya Ayu Laksmi telah mengisi seluruh lingkaran penuh. Ia lahir kembali dengan solo albumnya yang diberi judul “Svara Semesta”.

source : ayulaksmi.com

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