Later I find out, I was basically correct; yes it is a higher register, yes the intervals are different. Still the same slendro scale, but the tuning of instruments differs from a village to a village, giving a distinctive flavor to each community ensemble. There's no A = 440. GREAT, it's like playing a guitar that's tuned standard but frets are uneven everywhere on the fingerboard, still creating harmonies. It's so native to their musical perspective that it didn't occur to them to warn me. Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing concept; the same tune can sound slightly different depending on who plays it, let alone how they can tune the instruments ever so slightly different for each ensemble. #Zerofucksgiven to the idea of standardizing, but #allthefucksgiven to make it sound magical and distinctive every time you build it.
Maybe I was so racist that I thought all Balinese music are the same?