sábado, 9 de diciembre de 2006

My Song, Your Song (not Elton John's)

Oh, isn't that awesome ! Just heard "Patience", the new song Gary Barlow wrote for the "reunion" of Take That. He's just the best. Although I wonder, if he didn't do that falsetto of the perfect fifth after the semitone ("my heart is numb has no FEELing" ... however you think it is grammatically) whether the music will sound as catchy as it is now. I remember in "Back for Good" it was a major sixth ("WhatEVER I do..."). I found myself listening to his CD which I haven't heard for a long time, "Love won't wait". No falsetto there, eh ? But really nice chords. My favorite songs in that CD, besides "Love won't wait" are Open Road and Forever Love. Mmmmm !!

Anyway, my three songs are finished being printed and corrected yesterday, AT LAST ! They will be recorded by the soprano Binu Sukaman, with me at the piano for her CD which also includes songs of Mochtar Embut, Trisutji Kamal & Ismail Marzuki (this latter's songs are practically without written piano accompaniment, just simple I - IV - V chords -- which sometimes are the wrong chords anyway -- so I spent this week elaborating -- or inventing perhaps is a better word-- them). "Kama", my first song, was premiered earlier this year by Binu, and it will be sung again, this time by the tenor Farman Purnama in my New Year Concert in Jakarta on the 3rd of January . He will also premiere the last song, "Spider's Ballad" in that event. In fact for the second song, "Setelah Penjara", I was really thinking of a pop singer with a mike close to his/her mouth and singing intimately, just for him/herself . But which pop singer would like to sing without any accompaniment at all ? And those strange intervals ? Anyway, I am thinking of Chendra doing some choreography (or just telling those singers to move or act !) while singing it, therefore I still don't feel like having a singer performing them live until I let Chendra listen to Binu's recording and help me decide what to do. Anyway, doing the first two songs made me, at last, comfy with setting Indonesian poems to music. Now I don't have to resort, as I have done in the past, to mis queridos Whitmans and Poes and Blakes (which I of course still love).
My three songs are based on 3 poems by Ilham Malayu. I call them "Ilham di Penjara". Ilham was a drug-addict, and he had to spend 15 years in prison in Bangkok after he was caught in the airport with drugs. The title has a double meaning : the poet himself in prison writing the poems, and the significance of the word "Ilham" which means inspiration . These deeply touching poems are expressions about loss, loneliness, confusion and profound sadness. Still, the poet could find a moment of joy watching a spider and his busy activities, expressed in the third song "Spider's Ballad". The outer songs are written for high voice and piano, while the middle one, "Setelah Penjara" (after prison) is for solo voice (to be transposed comfortably for any kind of voice) without accompaniment. Each song is dedicated to one close friend who has made its existence possible.
"Kama" is dedicated to Dedi Panigoro, who was with me in the airplane from Tokyo to Jakarta but fell asleep immediately after the plane took off, therefore with noone to talk to I started to read Ilham's poetry and immediately set it to music.
"Setelah Penjara" was written in a shorter route, aboard the Iberia flight from Madrid to Venice. The beauty of Venice --and the busy schedule of the Bienale -- has made me forget the piece afterwards, until Binu Sukaman reminded me of it a month later, hence the dedication.
"Spider's Ballad" was written in Chendra Panatan's house while I was staying there, and he was just busy with himself thinking & experimenting a new choreography. This is what he gets for ignoring me then.