Autobiography of I Gusti Sudarsana
I Gusti Sudarsana was born in Sedang on January 8, 1969. I am a son of pair between Gusti Ngurah Meriam and Ni Gusti ayu Rai Leked. I started to learn for playing musical instruments since I was five years old, those instruments were Tingklik (traditional music instrument) and flute which taught by my uncle namely I Gusti Ketut Tantra and learned by myself through listening music. Sometimes, I got chance to play traditional music (gamelan) to complete the ritual ceremony. By eight years old, I entered state of SLB (extraordinary school for person with visual impairments) Driaraba in Serma Gede street No. 11 Sanglah, Denpasar. At that time, I learned music in whole theoretically at school but most of the practices was done in my hostel with some kinds of instruments provided, for example; gamelan (traditional orchestra), Kulintang, Bamboo Angklung and acoustic guitar. The blind lines to be a great problem for me in playing music, I just learn music autodidact while by listening and that why I hold the guitar from the top. It happened in 1979, when I was in the first grade. Three months later, I could play 5 keys which were taught by my friend. He had better vision than me, his name is Merta. He also taught me to hold guitar correctly. I faced another problem while I played Gangsa and Gamelan (traditional music instruments) because the instruments should be closed from below but I closed it from above. Then, I got better understanding to play those instruments when I was already in third grade and it helped by Mr. Pande Trika. In addition, I started to learn for playing gamelan since I was in kinder garden and I already had music group since I was in the third grade for playing melody. In the ninth grade, I played organ instrument to substitute one of the player which had graduated. On the sixth until eighth grade, I joined to play kulintang in Sanur Village Hotel. On June, 11, 1988, I graduated from Junior High school and few days later on June, 16, 1988, I started to work in Legian Beach Hotel with Made Kandra as rindik and pertuni player until 1992.
As I worked in Legian Beach Hotel, I stayed with Made Kandra and family in Tenten Village. On the following months, I began to stay in boarding house wit my younger brother, I Gusti Lanang Sujana in Imam Bonjol street No. 26 A Denpasar until November, 1, 1992. On May 1989, I and Mr. Kandra got additional job to play rindik in Bali Mandira Hotel and also as therapists in its spa started from December, 20, 1989 until August, 1, 2001. In the other side, on April 1990, we were dismissed by Legian Beach Hotel because they did not need us anymore. Meanwhile, I had composed songs since I was in the seventh grade.
As long as three years, from 1988 to 1991, I just stood with loan guitar because I did not have money and my salary only for fulfill daily need. The guitar was belonging to Made Kandra and Anak Agung Karmawan. In 1991, I had guitar which given by one of my loyal costumer. He was come from Australia, his name is Paul Balsarini. By the time, our economic condition was helped and moreover in 1995, we were given a keyboard, it would be the beginning for me to have my own keyboard. Fortunately, I married on November, 4, 1992 a girl who has same condition with me (blind person too) that I know when I was in school about 1998. In the next year, we were blessed our first son, namely I Gusti Ngurah Budi Kurniawan. As the time gone, on November, 1, 1992, I moved to Kuta until August 1993 then moved again to Tenten Village until November, 1, 2000.
Since of his birth, Ngurah and my wife stayed at the village at least for seven months because our family worried about our restriction. By the seven months old, Ngurah stayed with us and we tried to take care for him with our limitation. It was done to make him understood toward his parents condition (both of me and my wife are blind). Thoroughly, there were four couples with the same condition as us. Actually, our family never let me to take care Ngurah but we tried to prove ability however, we are blind person but we could do our responsibility as parent until nowdays, Ngurah is in twelfth grade of vocational school in Denpasar. We leave for awhile about my family story and look back again to my music career. When I was in second grade of Junior High school, I composed two songs untitle edan (crazy) and nasib (destiny). Both of the songs were sung by Made Kandra in Bali Record Studio. After graduating from Junior High School, I sent some of songs for several times but always been refused for any reason. It is true that experience is the best teacher, from those failures; I could get new sense and more knowledge in mastering music. Afterward, I tried to learn the technical for recording even more I really needed to have my own musical instruments. On December, 1992, I had a little money to pay for double cassette tape because my guitar was not good enough. One year later, I create dubbing by using the loan guitar from Mr. Made Kandra. Some of the songs were released and sung by Krisna Semara, Widi Widiana, Luh Sulasmi whereas the music arranged by Jimmy Silla. The songs got more attention about the guitar dubbing from the arranger and I was met to Anak Agung Karmawan. Shortly, while 1995, I was involved to cultivate for several songs mainly epic musical for the reason that I could dubbing gamelan with keyboard. Luckily, I was recognized by the producers and singers. Once time, I arranged a hit single untitled Sampik Intai (same story with Romeo and Juliet) and Olasin Beli (please sweetheart) but publisher said that they forgot to cite my name, next I went to Bali Record Studio to rearrange and sing again. Earlier than to Bali Record Studio, I had ever been to Aneka Studio and worked with Mr. Martinus as I did not have my own keyboard.
In Aneka Reocrd Studio, I worked together with Mr. Jimmy Silla to assemble gamelan to be played by keyboard. While in Bali Record, I did assemble with Martinus by using keyboard Xp 50/80 and also sound edited, set up equalizers, chorus, octaves, and others music instrumentations as seem as many people play the music. In addition, I also took part in Kaplug Dadi Record and in Arjuna Record. In Arjuna Record Studio, I ever had a song but the script was changed by its manager. Meanwhile, I sold the script to Bali Record, and Arjuna Record asked to me why did I sell the song? I said that “you buy the song and I sell the script”. On March, 9, 1998, we were blessed a daughter and we took care her with her grandmother by she was seven months old. Few months later, I took her to our boarding house and we stayed for four persons, I myself, my wife, my son and his younger sister, Gusti Ayu Ari Suastini. On August 1998, my first album was released untitled Sube Kadung (already done). Based on news from studio, the sale was good enough since it always requested on the radio and it was for the first time for Balinese song with Banyuwangi musical untitled Beli Teke (my boyfriend come). In this album, I invited Ayu Damayanti and Martinus. Most of my songs were sung by Widi Widiana, De A lot/Made Kandra, Alit Widiari and Ayu Damayanti. One of my hit single “Liang” (fun/happy) that I sang with Ayu Damayanti to be “Pesona Bali Musical”. On September 1999, I had keyboard with complete program itself however I bought it through credit system from the manager of Bali Record.
In the fact of 1996, my father in low gave us money to buy one acre land in Buana Kubu area, the land is exactly next to my sister in low’s land, Ms. Sumiarsih. She also bought land for one acre. On November, 1, 2000, we stayed in my sister in low because could not build up new home. At that time, my son did not go to school as we needed more time to adapt with our environment. We should be able to adapt ourselves with all of the inadequacy that we had. At least, we could pass the temptations by the assistances and supports from our great family. My son entered school in state elementary school of 28 until new class period and then move to state elementary school of 19 Pemecutan. As slight information, I was given an electric guitar by Mr. Paul Balsarani. Through the guitar, I got more salary by playing guitar of some songs in the studio. In 2000, I can create new program and a part of my salary was saved while for the daily needs could be fulfilled from the result my job in the hotel as therapist and also rindik player. On the same time, I had a group band under the named “Happy Band and we played twice in a week in Angsa Putih. Finally, I could pay the rest payment of keyboard and step by step, we built a house. For the electrical and water reservoir program were assisted by Mr. Paul. The small home had finished and we stayed there until now. By the 2000 until 2004, the musical order increased significantly and in 2003, I got special award from Denpost (local newspaper publisher). Actually, I can live from music and I could buy recording equipments by myself. Intended to 2005, the result from music was getting down.
As the result of decreasing income in 2005, I had an idea to create pupuh biola (traditional song script), pupuh is song which followed by traditional musical instruments; gegontangan and flute as the completer. In this project, I invited Made Suyatra as one of Biola player in Bali Mandira. The program took time about one month, since 2001; we only worked for three hours in a day. Based on the observation, this program was not success and I decided to take part in puppet shadow. Mr. Wayan Suyatra taught me how to play keyboard and on July, 25, 2006, I played keyboard in Joblar puppet shadow group. My income was getting improved and I got promotion to the studio. In the beginning of 2007, I got project to arrange kids’ album and finished some album for instance; Grejag and some songs of Degung Bali until I could buy a set of computer and one motorcycles. I need to remind again that Degung Bali was created along 2006 to 2007. As the time, on September, 4, 2009, I decided to resign from Joglar puppet shadow group because I was sick. In complex situation, one of my friends that I knew when I arranged song about Nusa Penida, Mr. Wayan Sukadana offered me to try a new alternatives effort. Since, I am a blind person so when I get new musical instruments, the first operation always be guided by Dex Wik. Recently, there is an idea to sell songs through internet networking which is founded by Wayan Sukadana. Hopefully, this program could be success in high competition case. Thank you so much Wayan Sukadana, Tut Oka, Gede Sumadi, Yuda, Suria and everybody who have helped me to rise up from the darkness of life. Thanks to Ketut Artana and Dewa Sujana too.