lunes, 26 de febrero de 2007

Why ?

One email coming from Ecuador today doing a survey asking , among others : "What avantgarde piece(s) of music do you consider a masterpiece ?" (why do all those issues about avantgarde still exist in those developing countries ? They are developing, right, not degrading ?)

My answer : 4' 33" by John Cage . Why ? Because it meets all the requirements of what I ask from an avantgarde piece of music : It should be short, soft and easy to play . For your info, that mentioned piece is just a pianist sitting down on the piano, doing nothing, and gets up after that duration. If the pianist happen to be a celebrity, he would get applauded, because that's how one gets acclaim nowadays : by doing nothing.
But it has even a bigger quality. That's why it's great avantgarde art. Why ? Because while one is listening to it in a concert, he can listen to real music through MP3 . Or he can listen to 4 ' 33" at home while watching Oprah Winfrey show or whatever. So, one doesn't waste his time while he can still boast that he DOES listen and understand art.
I wish all avantgarde music could be like that ..... RIP John Cage. You are the greatest.

lunes, 19 de febrero de 2007

Still in London : bad weather but 2 great news

Received 2 nice emails today :
1. My new CD with David del Puerto's Symphony no. 2 for piano & orchestra "Nusantara" which will be released by Stradivarius will be launched and presented on the 20th of March in Milan. That's exactly 1 month from now !

2. But the most exciting thing is that my idol, the great poet Sapardi Djoko Damono wrote and gave his permission to use his poems for my next piece. Oh, I can't wait to meet this great artist.

Well, that's all folks. Many things to look forward to. Gotta go out now, and tonite am gonna end this nice day in Covent Garden watching Madame Butterfly.

domingo, 18 de febrero de 2007

The Sleepers in London

Sometimes the sea reminds me of Debussy's La Mer, but everytime I listen to La Mer, it never reminds me of the sea. I discussed this fact and relationship between music and other arts with Chendra Panatan, "my" choreographer, and we agreed that he would do something with the same lines of Whitman's The Sleepers that had inspired me to write my little piece for violin and piano.

And so we did it today. Chendra knows a very good Indonesian photographer in London, Dian Rosita, who is --like Chendra-- doing her Master's degree under the Chevening scholarship. His idea was to make slides of himself posing, interpreting those Whitman lines, to be projected with my music being played, either live or made into a DVD with the music . Nobody accompanies the other. I never, by the way, showed my music (it was a birthday present for Geoffrey King last January the 16th) to them. The idea would be producing a totally new musical & photographic piece based on Whitman's lines, but it wouldn't really matter if the listener (and watcher) would NOT connect it with Whitman.

So, what will it be ? First of all, a collaboration of 4 artists : Whitman (obviously, posthomously collaborating with us !), Chendra, Dian Rosita (Tita) and me . But do you really call it collaboration ? There is only one element that unites us all, Whitman's lines.
Anyway, I was with them today while they took those photos. We did it in the studio of Middlesex University where Chendra is studying. By the way, it is built in the most beautiful English countryside and the daffodils are about to expose their charm. Everytime Chendra does something, he amazes me . Tita couldn't stop clicking her camera today, since Chendra never ran out of ideas of posing, sculpting and shaping his lean body, moving, dancing . What was just a small piece for a birthday gift is now an important piece for me. He has his own interpretation of Whitman, but that's what will make this piece fresh and new. And I think (not sure, though) that this is his first self-choreography for still-pictures. So, now am very much looking forward for listening, and watching, "The Sleepers". Will it work ? Or will it be a failure of another experimental collaborative work of art ?