While writing this, am listening to the classical radio broadcasting an unknown (to me) work for cello solo by Jean Sibelius, in d minor . It's always nice to discover new things. It is not as impressive as Bach's or Britten's Cello suites, nevertheless I am moved deeply by it.
Today an article appeared in Kompas about my collaboration with SDD, and so tens of emails arrived through my website, from just giving best wishes to asking (too much for now) details about Ars Amatoria, from close friends to complete strangers. And I just hope that the yahoo people will invent how to forward a bunch of emails in one go, since Chendra had to forward those emails one by one to me. Maybe by ticking in front of each emails and then put a button "forward" ? Anyway, to save time, and quoting Walt Whitman, "To what you said, passionately clasping my hands, this is my answer" :
1. The forces for which I am writing Ars Amatoria is not completely correct in that article. This is the right forces : A pair of dancers, 1 Soprano, 1 Baritone, children's choir, male choir and a small group of instruments.
2. Influence / model : Perhaps Ars Amatoria can be closely compared to Benjamin Britten's Church Parables (without its religious content) in its structure. Perhaps I was also influenced by those parables in employing male and children chorus without female voices, although the soprano soloist will play an important role .
3. There will be no narrator, neither one who recites the poems. All the poems are to be sung by the singers.
4. I haven't asked nor thought of specific performers for the premiere, except the choreographer & dancer (who will also direct movements for the singers and choreograph the dance episodes) Chendra Panatan, who first introduced me to SDD's poems (well, this is not the reason why I ask him ; I collaborate with him already in several works lately and they have been very successful) .
5 I still don't want to publicly announce which poems I am using. One thing that I can say is that I am not using the death-related poems of SDD for this work (yes, I know that love and death are very closely related, but somehow it depresses me just thinking 'bout it ! )
6. And yes, I have plans to work with other Indonesian poets after I finish this project, but SDD's poems will always be especially close to my heart, and every once in a while I will get back to them.
7. And no, THANK GOD, I will NOT sing and neither will the dancers ! By the way, I can tell you that Chendra is an amazing choreographer but a terrible singer ; he is even worse than me and never gets one note right ! My involvement is that I will conduct its first complete performance (at the Jakarta New Year concert 2008, not the one in JCOM Fest in August) from the piano . Don't think that all composers are like Samuel Barber who could sing his own works !
These are the details I can reveal for now. Thank you very much for all your enthusiasm and support !