Pete Smith discovered gamelan as a music student at York University. He received a scholarship to continue his studies in Indonesia where he enrolled at STSI, the Academy of Indonesian Arts in Central Java from 1992 to 1995. During this time, Pete also worked independently as a professional gamelan performer with an extremely diverse range of groups including village wedding bands, all night puppet show backing groups, palace orchestras and night-time street buskers.
Since returning to the UK, Pete has taught at every level of the education system and has been instrumental in setting up many of the UK’s gamelan programmes. Pete has performed both Javanese and Balinese gamelan throughout the UK and Europe with the renowned Southbank Gamelan Players, and also plays regularly with Widosari Ensemble – the leading gamelan group in the Netherlands. He was invited in 2007 to join a group of performers from STSI for the International Gamelan Festival in Amsterdam. He is also a founder member of Laras Laris – the only group in Europe specialising in the lively tjokekan style of gamelan associated with celebrations and gatherings.