A few hours before leaving to Jakarta .... my friend John Paul sent me his article in Jakarta Java Kini magazine about the New Year Concert . Oooops, he still got the old date ... anyway, it will be on the 3rd of January at Graha Bakti Budaya, TIM, at 19.30, so ignore the time & date of his article. Apart from that, check out how clever he is . Here is his article :
The Real Deal , by John Paul
The dawn of another year, filled with seemingly insurmountable obstacles towards unattainable goals.
But one needn't search far or wide to find those people whose lives are a standing reminder that anything is possible with a lot of hard work, perseverance, and enough courage to make but a small leap of faith.
I still remember when I first heard of Indonesian pianist Ananda Sukarlan and his exploits, which included performing in the most prestigious venues around the world to the highest critical acclaim, receiving numerous awards and being dedicated works by top composers, as well as championing works by those previously unknown - but most of all, having the coveted reality of doing what he loves for a living without having to get breast implants or spend US$20000 a month on his hair a la Justin Timberlake. It used to make myself, and I'm sure many others, feel so small and insignificant.
However, his effect on me has changed since I had the unlikely and completely coincidental opportunity to meet, and even befriend this person, whose preference for light concert attire once caused him to be threatened with the cancellation of his concert in Berlin when they realized he hadn't brought a customary penguin coat (as he calls it) for the evening performance, although he later luckily managed to rent one just in time. I think I was almost disappointed to discover that behind the giant of a musician was also a great human being. His low profile and humility confounds me and is a constant reminder that the truly great make others feel like they too can be such. Of course, like anybody else, he isn't without his peculiarities.
Being a late sleeper who describes himself as a wine and coffee person, he composes between one and four in the morning and claims to work better on airplanes. Then again, he also claims nobody's ever really been to the moon, TV is why we no longer have great composers like Bach or Mozart, and astrology is complete bollocks.
Paradoxically, he's watched his favorite movies The Godfather and Citizen Kane an estimated 1000 times, and believes he's a real Gemini and a genuine Monkey.
I've always been intrigued about what it is that makes a truly great person, not just a great musician. And now I might just finally have the answer, or at least part of it.
There seems to be a pattern that all trulysuccessful people first experience great adversities, disappointments, and failures. And many of these continue to persist for an entire lifetime. I often wonder who the exceptions are, if any, to this pattern because if there are none, I might confidently suppose that I am among them, only still in the making. Certainly many could then share in this sort of hope. Edison failed 200 times before discovering the right material for his light bulb's filament.
Beethoven suffered his childhood under an alcoholic father and became deaf at the age of 28. Schubert remained not only penniless but even worse, unrecognized, till the day he died. In modern times, Aniello Desiderio ran off the stage in the middle of a performance. Ananda Sukarlan was kicked out of YPM (Yayasan Pendidikan Musik) for being untalented, an allegation which he believed for quite a while. Even when he finally got the chance to study in Holland, his scholarship was cancelled in his 3rd year due to intergovernmental problems. He started playing in bars and clubs, and joined competitions initially just to finance his education. Little did he know that these would boost his career.
I suppose this stubborn perseverance, which seems to be the quality commonly shared among these greats, seems to be what ultimately pulled them through. Despite the most severe trials, it can be summed up in Ananda's words when he finally decided 3 years after being kicked out, that he wanted to be a pianist, anyway. "No talent? Who cares!” Whether you want to be uplifted, pampered by the performance of a world class artist, or both, the Jakarta New Year Concert in the Upper Room of the Nikko Hotel, on January 1, 2007 at 5 p.m, is a great way to start the new year. Ananda Sukarlan will perform Maurive Ravel's Pavane for the late princess (commemorating the 10th anniversary of Lady Di's death), and David del Puerto's 'Alio Modo' (commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Bali tragedy). Both pieces will feature dances choreographed by Chendra Panatan. Tenor Farman Purnama will sing the premier of Ananda's setting of Ilham Malayu's poem 'The Spider's Ballad', written during the poet's dark years inside a Bangkok prison from 1985-2000. Tickets can be reserved at: Jakartanewyearconcert@yahoo.co.id