Ayu was inspired by Kena’s hope, kindness, and desire “to help others, no matter how difficult.” Ayu brings her rich cultural heritage as a Balinese musician and dancer to our world!
Kena is Ayu’s debut as a voice actor. Her mother, Emiko, a professional voice actor, coached Ayu as she practiced for and performed in Kena: Bridge of Spirits. But Ayu is no stranger to performance. Since the age of five, Ayu studied and performed with Çudamani, an ensemble of musicians and dancers based in the village of Pengosekan, Bali. Founded by several members of her family, Çudamani performs Gamelan, a traditional form of Balinese ensemble music using primarily percussive instruments. Musicians and vocalists from Çudamani (including Ayu!) are featured in the score for Kena: Bridge of Spirits!
For Ayu, the score is a game-changer (no pun intended!) and “a fantastic representation of the flexibility and the meaning of Gamelan.” The Ember Lab team was innovative but “respectful while working with instruments and music that are used in sacred settings.”
As an actor, sometimes a role can feel like a stretch, but it is the actor’s job to find ways to relate to their role. Ayu’s connection to Kena was magical from the start and brings an authenticity to her performance that can’t be denied!
“Our biggest similarities are perseverance and our connections to our fathers. Kena works hard to overcome challenges and succeeds in helping others while drawing from the experiences of her father and always referring to him lovingly … I persevere when faced with challenges, adapt to find an efficient solution, and make it work to the best of my ability. Additionally, I feel joy and fulfillment when I am able to help others in whatever capacity they need. I also have a strong relationship with my own dad. He has taught me everything I know about Gamelan and my Balinese heritage, and I have always looked up to him. In fact, we have such similar characteristics and features that people say I am a photocopy of him! I could learn so much from Kena. She inspires me to be a more patient, brave, and kind person.”
Ayu recalls getting a little cramped in the recording booth while performing the “effort sounds,” essential for adventure and combat games.
“I needed to use my body which meant I had to throw some punches in a small space. I kept hitting the microphone with my head, or the wall of the booth with my arm, or running into the little table with my script. It was hilarious! It was definitely a workout but it was so much fun!”
Ayu’s commitment to her role certainly paid off. We can’t wait for you to experience her wonderful work!
Currently, Ayu is studying World Arts and Cultures at UCLA with a minor in Entrepreneurship. She also hopes to minor in Ethnomusicology! Over the past year, she has kept very busy in the arts world. At UCLA, she serves as: the incoming music director for On That Note A Cappella, producer and choreographer for WACsmash (a World Arts and Cultures/Dance showcase), and will be dancing with Çudamani’s East Coast tour in September!
Her favorite game is Mario Kart.
You can find more about Ayu and stay up to date with her here:
- Instagram: @dwayu_larassanti
- Facebook: Dewa Ayu Larassanti
- YouTube: Ayu Larassanti