Archive for the 'Music' Category



Jogja Hip Hop Foundation and Personal Reflection

I just returned from [Jogja Hip Hop Foundation (JHF)’s] [concert in Esplanade]. While it is still fresh in mind, I want to write a few points.

  • Hip hop! Oh my goodness. I never thought I would ever go to a hip hop concert. But there I was, enjoying their performance.
  • I am in general not a fan of rap and hip hop. The first rapper I like ever is Zack de la Rocha, and he is not from a hip hop band, albeit heavily influenced by hip hop. JHF, however, is an exception, and so far they are the only hip hop group I like. By like, I mean really like.
  • Why is it? I notice that there are a romanticism and—as nationalism is not the right word to use here—longing towards my homeland of Jogjakarta, and they certainly fill that niche in my heart and soul. The not-so-recent [controversy] certainly amplified the feeling. When the above “Song of Sabdatama” was played as the opening song, I sang along solemnly, as if it was a natio—I mean, the sultanate anthem.
  • Due to linguistic differences, at one point, JHF tried to establish communications by inviting Singaporean audiences up the stage to introduce some parts of the song they were going to perform next, which is “Cintamu Sepahit Topi Miring”. However, after these spectators failed to get the stage normally, as the stage was apparently not designed for it, and one spectator jumped up the stage, some Esplanade staffs forbade them from going up the stage, or at least that’s how it appeared to me. Marzuki jumped down to the audience seats, which was followed by other members of JHF. Hah, that’s Jogjakartan’s humbleness for you. I impulsively jumped off the seat and clapped on this act. Although I understand there may be valid reasons why Esplanade forbade audience to go up the stage, so far I would rather opt for performer-audience closeness than bureaucracy.
  • The show featured Catur Benyek, a dalang/puppet master. During the performance, he spoke a very polite Javanese…which I mostly don’t understand. This is something which I really really feel ashamed of, because while I claim proficiency in three and a half languages, as a Javanese, I am not well-versed in krama inggil, the most polite level of Javanese language. There is a background to this, among which are this is sort of a global phenomenon among the ethnic Javanese, and I indeed very rarely speak in krama inggil at home, as I usually opt for Indonesian instead. The last time my Dad saw me speak in krama inggil, which was to his friend, he laughed at home. LOL.
  • Suratkhabar Lama, the Singaporean hip hop group who collaborated with JHF, opened the show. I had never heard of them (except for the collaboration) and their songs before, so I expected to get some time to get familiarised with them. Their concept, I think, is similar to JHF’s, in that they incorporate Malay literatures and proverbs in their songs. However, it was only during their third song which I could feel the emotion, and that’s when the group of Malay traditional dancers and musicians entered the stage.
  • The sound system, I think, is something which can be criticised, as I can’t clearly hear the words the performers sang. This is problematic for me as there are songs which I am not really familiar with, and I would really love to hear what Suratkhabar Lama’s songs were about.
  • Soimah is hot…and pethakilan/hyperactive. And she is tall!!
  • So far, this year, I have gone to three concerts: The Radio Dept.’s, Kraftwerk’s, and JHF’s. (I skipped Metallica because it was too expensive, too far away, too ulu/remote, and too late at night; not to mention that they were too old and they lacked Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted.) Among these, JHF is the least globally known, and JHF’s ticket is the least expensive. However, I enjoyed JHF’s performance most compared to the other two.
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A Coptic Hymn

As an Indonesian, I automatically perceive Arabic chants as Islamic. Well I don’t speak Arabic, so when I listened the above hymn it is very very hard for me to accept that it is a part of Christian tradition. I have to listen very carefully for any word I am familiar with; I think I heard some “Kyrie”s there. Also, I live with a Protestant family, and the neighbour next door is a Muslim family, so I am wondering if they think I am listening to an Islamic prayer, as IMO Orthodox Christianity, let alone the Coptic rite, is not widely known in this part of the world. But I have loved Arabic chants for a few years already, and somehow listening to this song makes me want to attend a Coptic service someday.

Update: I played the video again and realised that the video actually begins in English (…and forgive us our sins)! Gosh, it does take time!

Another update: not only does the video begin in English, but the first half of the video seems to be entirely in English! So I can confirm that my Indonesian ears are more sensitive to the Arabic tone than the actual prayer.

A Part

Last year I wrote [this]. This year I became a part of those who sing the song, and I joyfully sang along.

High Speed Mode

Agnes Chan – Hinageshi no Hana, dan Mid-life Crisis (?) pada Usia 20an

Ini lagu pertama kali saya dengar di sebuah radio streaming online, channel tembang kenangan Jejepangan. Judulnya Hinageshi no Hana. Bunga something something. Penyanyinya [Agnes Chan]. Minoritas etnis Cina di Jepang. Saya pertama kali dengar namanya barangkali tahun kemarin di Sankaku Complex, ketika beberapa artikel di sana memuat protes Agnes Chan terhadap manga-anime yang (seingat saya, maklum sudah lama sekali saya tak membuka situs itu) menggambarkan anak-anak kecil secara “provokatif”. Namun demikian, baru beberapa bulan lalu saya tahu bahwa dia dulunya adalah penyanyi cilik/remaja. Hinageshi no Hana ini salah satu lagu terkenalnya. Diterbitkan pada tahun 1972 pada waktu Agnes Chan masih berusia sekitar 17 tahun, tapi saya merasa dia tampak masih anak-anak di video klip ini. Buat saya, tampak seperti masih 12 tahun. [Gigi gingsulnya tentu tidak membantu saya menyadari usianya]. Anyway, saya tak tahu judul lagu itu artinya apa, saya tak tahu lagu itu bercerita tentang apa (malah ada sedikit kesan bahwa lagu ini lagu ababil; “aishiteru aishitenai anata”? I love you I don’t love you?), tapi mendengar suara Agnes Chan muda yang merdu halus nan imut-imut ini serasa membangkitkan perasaan-perasaan yang sudah lama mati. Perasaan riang gembira, polos, bebas, dan kemampuan jantung untuk berdebar-debar memompa darah lebih kencang ketika melihat lawan jenis yang terlihat begitu menarik, seperti muncul kembali. Perasaan-perasaan yang konon kabarnya hanya dimiliki anak-anak dan remaja, karena setelah melewati fase-fase tertentu, orang [tidak bisa tidak memikirkan konsekuensi-konsekuensi yang akan terjadi setelah sebuah keputusan diambil], yang mengakibatkan pilihan hidup menjadi lebih terbatas dan kita tidak bisa berbuat sesuka hati lagi.

Ah, ya, menuliskan hal-hal ini membuat saya teringat sama artikel-artikel di koran atau film-film yang memuat kisah bapak-bapak paruh baya yang menemukan kembali tujuan hidup ketika bertemu perempuan muda yang riang gembira. Pernah nonton [Ikiru]? Tokoh utama, Kanji, seorang PNS paruh baya dengan kehidupan biasa-biasa saja, didiagnosis terkena penyakit parah dan akan mati dalam beberapa bulan. Jatuh depresi lah dia. Tapi semuanya berubah(tm) ketika dia bertemu Toyo, (mantan) bawahannya di kantor, perempuan yang ceria, baru sedikit di atas 20. Tidak, mereka tidak sampai kawin, tapi  yang jelas Kanji menemukan kembali gairah hidupnya, dan pada tengah cerita digambarkan mati bahagia (yup, tokoh utama mati di tengah cerita) setelah melakukan sesuatu yang sangat berharga. Detilnya bisa ditonton sendiri. Yang ingin saya sampaikan di sini, konon kabarnya, yang macam ini adalah salah satu elemen [krisis paruh baya]. “Entering relationships with younger people”. Relationship with younger people? Saya sejauh ini belum sih, kalo maksudnya young berarti di bawah 20 gitu. Tapi ada rasa ketertarikan sendiri terhadap video klip Agnes Chan di atas. Lalu, ada beberapa karakteristik lain lagi di sana. Realization of “their own mortality and how much time is left in their life”. “Search of an undefined dream or goal”. “A fear of humiliation among more successful colleagues”. “Desire to achieve a feeling of youthfulness”. “Depression”. “Fear of impending death”.

Lha kok banyak sekali yang sudah saya rasakan?

Apakah saya sudah menunjukkan elemen-elemen krisis paruh baya?

Padahal saya belum lagi 25! Semestinya yang saya alami [krisis perempat baya]!

OK OK. Mari dicek lagi.

Kehilangan kemampuan jatuh cinta dengan bebas? [Check]. Nostalgia? [Check] [Check]. Penyesalan? [Check]. Pencarian kebebasan? [Check]. Mempertanyakan ulang (ulang lho, bukan menentukan) arah hidup? [Check]. Kesepian? [Check]. Belum lagi ada semacam kehilangan proporsi waktu di sini: rasanya dua puluh sekian tahu pertama saya yang sudah lewat itu panjaaaaang sekali, tapi untuk mencapai usia 70 tidaklah selama itu. Jadi semacam sebagian besar hidup saya sudah lewat, sekarang di belakang saya. Belum lagi beberapa bulan terakhir saya merasa bahwa saya bisa mati sewaktu-waktu karena alasan apapun. Jaman dulu mana saya pikirkan yang macam ini.

Ah, ya. Mungkin memang saya sudah tua. Apa tidak ironis ini. Belum lagi 25, tapi kalau ditanya apakah saya apakah saya masih muda atau sudah dewasa tua, saya akan jawab saya sudah tua. Hell, bahkan beberapa minggu lalu ketika menonton [The Amazing Spiderman], saya facepalm berkali-kali, dan ketika ditanyai teman tentang pendapat saya akan film tersebut, saya jawab sepertinya film itu dibuat untuk anak muda!

Lha terus gimana? Ya sudah, lanjutkan saja hidup apa adanya. 😛

Sebagai penutup, ini lagu yang sama, dinyanyikan orang yang sama ketika sudah tua senior.

Some Old Songs of which I Found New Meanings

1) Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird

If I leave here tomorrow
Would you still remember me? 
For I must be travelling on now
There’s just too many places I’ve got to see

But if I stay here with you, girl
Things just couldn’t be the same
‘Cause I’m as free as a bird now
And this bird you cannot change
And this bird you cannot change

***

2) Jon Bon Jovi – Santa Fe

And I blame this world for making a good man evil
It’s this world that can drive a good man mad
And it’s this world that turns a killer into a hero
Well I blame this world for making a good man bad

[…]

When I meet my maker, will he close the book
On the hearts I broke and the lives I took?
Will he walk away ‘cause my soul’s too late to save?

***

And of course, I have covered them both.

Drummer Favorit

Kalo dulu udah bikin list diva dan gitaris favorit, sekarang saya bikin list drummer favorit. Ndak berdasarkan urutan.

***

1) Neil Peart (Rush)

Saya suka dengar musik rock progresif, tapi anehnya dia bakal jadi satu-satunya drummer progresif di sini. Kenapa ya? Ya ga kenapa-kenapa. Saya kok pas suka dengar lagu Rush, dan mereka kebetulan aja punya drummer jago, bisa mainin lagu dengan tempo ndak umum. 😆 Tapi ya memang beliau banyak menjadi panutan drummer-drummer progresif lain. Selain itu, ketabahan hidupnya menghadapi kematian istri dan anaknya plus perjalanan keliling Amerika plus niatnya membangun hidup pasca kesedihan membuat saya kagum. Hanya orang tangguh yang bisa melewati cobaan hidup begini. 😀

***

2) Keith Moon (The Who)

Nah ini baru yang bener-bener. 😀 Soalnya saya suka gaya main dia yang amburadul, sangat bersemangat, dan rada kacau, hahahaha. Entah kenapa saya suka sama yang frantic-frantic model begini. Hobinya pun aneh: meledakkan toilet. *garuk-garuk kepala*

***

3) Stewart Copeland (The Police)

Drummer kacau lainnya. 😆 Saya bukan penggemar berat The Police, pun jarang mendengarkan lagu mereka. Tapi gebukan drum ala Copeland memang menyenangkan hati. Ndak berat kaya Neil Peart. Kesannya sangat ringan. Dan ya itu tadi, enak didengarkan.

***

4) Yoshiki (X Japan)

Ini entry terbaru di list saya, karena saya juga baru akhir-akhir ini dengerin X Japan. Pertama-tama, dia bishounen ganteng kalo ngedrum suka heboh. Tangan terangkat tinggi-tinggi sebelum menabuh drum. Terus, dengan badan kering kerontang begitu, dia tahan main lagu tempo tinggi dengan double bass secara bersemangat dan stabil. Tentu saja, skill main piano adalah bonus. Lirik melodramatik membuat saya mau muntah memang, tapi Yoshiki sumber ketertarikan utama saya terhadap X Japan.

***

Ampun saya buta dunia perdrummingan, jadinya pembahasannya ndak teknis 😳


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You can write comments in any language that you want, but please bear in mind that I only understand 4 languages: English, Indonesian, Javanese and Malay.

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