SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Nick Gray

PhD (London)
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Nick Gray
Department of Music

Senior Lecturer in the Music of South East Asia

School of Arts

Senior Lecturer in the Music of South East Asia

SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Academic Staff, Centre of South East Asian Studies

Dr Nick Gray
Email address:
+44(0) 20 7898 4686
+44(0) 20 7898 4699
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Mondays 2-4pm


Popular and fusion music in South East Asia.


Programmes Convened
Courses Taught
PhD Students supervised


"The Watchers by the Well"

by Tim Jones (storyteller) and Segara Madu (Balinese gendér wayang group: Paula Friar, Rachel Hewitt and Nick Gray).

Watch this performance on YouTube.

1st November 2014, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS, University of London, part of the SEA ArtsFest 2014 (

Segara Madu blends Balinese instruments with violin and electronics in this retelling of  "The Watchers by the Well", a folk-tale from the English-Welsh borders collected by Ruth L. Tongue (1970:110-16).

Gendér wayang is the name given to a small quartet or duo of bronze metallophones, used in Bali to accompany the shadow play (wayang kulit), a sacred drama based on stories from ancient Indian epics.

The programme:

1) Three Balinese gendér wayang pieces taught by I Wayan Locéng in Sukawati village in south Bali:

"Partha Wijaya"

2) "The Watchers by the Well" (music by Nick Gray): a story with music. Includes an excerpt from "The Prayer of Protection" (traditional English, transcribed in Tongue 1967: 99) and from "Oxford City" (traditional English; a version can be found in Vaughan Williams and Lloyd 1959: 83).

3) "Sekar Sungsang" A Balinese gendér wayang piece taught by I Nyoman Gunawan and I Wayan Mudita in Tenganan village, east Bali.

  • Ruth L. Tongue (1970) Forgotten folk-tales of the English counties. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • Ruth L. Tongue (1967) The Chime Child or Somerset singers: being an account of some of them and their songs collected over sixty years. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams and A. L. Lloyd, eds. (1959) The Penguin book of English folk songs. London: Penguin Books Ltd.


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Available for
Regional Expertise
  • South East Asia
Country Expertise


Authored Books

Gray, Nicholas (2011) Improvisation and composition in Balinese gendér wayang: music of the moving shadows. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited. (SOAS Musicology Series)

Book Chapters

Gray, Nicholas (2015) '"Sudamala" (freed from evil): exploring a ritual piece for Balinese gendér wayang.' In: Harris, Rachel and Pease, Rowan, (eds.), Pieces of the musical world: sounds and cultures. New York; London: Routledge, pp. 154-167.


Gray, Nick (2013) 'Reflections on composing for Balinese gendér wayang: The Birth of Kala.' Analytical Approaches to World Music, 2 (2). pp. 100-147.

Gray, Nick (2010) 'Of one family? Improvisation, variation and composition in Balinese gendér wayang.' Ethnomusicology, 54 (2). pp. 224-256.

Gray, Nick (1992) 'Sulendra: an example of petegak in the Balinese gender wayang repertory.' British Journal of Ethnomusicology, 1. pp. 1-16.

Gray, Nick (1990) 'An introduction to the Sukawati style of Balinese gender wayang.' Indonesia Circle, 18 (52). pp. 45-54.


Gray, Nick (2012) The Birth of Kala - a Balinese tale. [Performances]


Gray, Nick (2016) 391 for gamelan. [Compositions]

Gray, Nick (2016) 12 violin pieces (revision of 2007 composition). [Compositions]

Gray, Nick (2015) Bawang Merah Bawang Putih / 12 Violin Pieces. [Compositions]

Gray, Nicholas (2014) "The Watchers by the Well". [Compositions]

Gray, Nick (2012) The Birth of Kala. [Compositions]


Gray, Nick (2017) My Tricksy Spirit. Bad Elephant Music. [Audio] (Forthcoming)

This list was generated on Mon Apr 24 03:27:55 2017 BST.