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Pulang was written for and premiered by the Bucknell University Gamelan. It is scored for Javanese gamelan, with an addition of two genders and a suling (which are typically part of a Balinese gamelan). Pulang is written for sléndro tuning and uses a notation system similar to traditional gamelan notation, with added commentary where necessary.
The word "pulang" is an Indonesian concept that roughly translates to a "return home." This "home" can be either literal or figurative. This was a central concept to the structure of the piece. The opening sets up a distinctive rhythmic gesture, after which the piece deviates along a path of slowly unfolding melodies. The center of the structure, featuring an improvisatory suling solo, presents the farthest part of the musical "journey" from the opening gesture, in both time and musical material. After this, the music retraces its steps and eventually returns to the familiar opening theme.