lunes, 9 de junio de 2008

"This Boy's had a dream" ; In memory of Prof. Dr. Fuad Hassan

Piano, piano. I've been quite pianistic these days. Writing 4-hand piano pieces for my daughter Alicia, started a two-piano piece and several etudes for piano solo. An email came last week from the Faculty of Psychology of Universitas Indonesia, asking me if I could contribute something for a concert commemorating our former minister of education, Mr. Fuad Hassan. He was the one who helped me with a scholarship to go to the Royal Conservatory of Den Haag, back in 1986. So I wrote the piece quickly (I was unusually inspired !), and wrote this program note :

A piece of music of mine to cherish the memory of our dear Prof. Dr. Fuad Hassan would be, inevitably, autobiographical. He was the person responsible for my musical education abroad, back in 1986, when things were really difficult for me. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am now. Sitting down writing the piece, my mind automatically travelled back to those years, when I was a teenager --to be precise, an ungrown-up boy. I had only dreams to follow, those kind of dreams where one could achieve anything if one really wants it. That, mixed with the uncertainties of a teenager, understanding (or not?) love for the first (few) times, the sentimental feeling of travelling far far beyond his birthplace, etcetra. Those things would sound unreal now, but were more than real in those days. Hence, "This Boy's Had a Dream" was born with an un-typical sentimentality that normally can't be found in my music. This, I feel, is the music this boy would write 20 years ago but didn't have the musical skill to write it down. Again, I hold Mr. Fuad Hassan responsible for the physical birth of this music, embedded in me for 20 years. It is unabashedly romantic, reflecting the Whitman-esque teenager not a bit tamed, untranslatable, sounding his barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world. And Mr. Fuad Hassan understood my dreams, and realized them. Requiescat in pace, Mr. Fuad Hassan.