viernes, 26 de diciembre de 2008

Book of faces, Midori and my string quartet

Today, officially the tickets for Java New Year Concert in Jakarta, January 4th are completely SOLD OUT. I would like to congratulate the whole team of JNYC for this. Chendra Panatan, my manager, choreographer, and head of the team of JNYC, has experimented a new method for the publicity for this concert : we don't spend any cent in publicity on newspapers or other mass media. He does it all through the internet, especially facebook. And I must admit, I hated Facebook up till a few weeks ago. Chendra convinced me of facebook a few months ago, by saying that my greatest idol with the great baritone voice, Barack Obama has done a most successful presidential campaign through Facebook. If he does it, then it must be correct.

Preparations are going well. The young pianists who will perform are at their best stamina. My flute and piano piece, "Rescuing Ariadne" was the last piece I rehearsed with. The players will be the English flutist Elizabeth Ashford and the young pianist from Bandung, Alfred Young Sugiri. This 5-minute piece was inspired by the painting of Titian, "Bacchus and Ariadne", hang in the National Gallery of London. Why the title ? Well, because Albert Roussel's Third Symphony (great piece, by the way) is titled as the painting, and I don't want to make a piece with the same title.

The soprano Bernadeta Astari has arrived from Holland, and we performed today at the Federasi Teater Indonesia some of my songs, including the one based on a poem of WS Rendra, Tidurlah Intan. We chatted with him afterwards.

Several days ago the Japanese legendary violinist Midori played my short string quartet "Lontano" with 3 other young musicians (from Singapore, Australia and USA) at the residence of the ambassador of Japan in Jakarta. Her foundation, Music Sharing (based in New York) commissioned it last year and I already finished it before summer this year. After this performance they then toured it to Jogja and Medan, and then to Japan. I didn't have time to rehearse with them beforehand, so I was rather nervous before the concert (and they played Debussy's --which is my all time favorite, adored, admired quartet-- as the last piece, which was the first time I heard live). But then they played so marvellously that they took my breath away. Still, nobody could beat the greatness of Debussy ; I admire that Frenchman more and more thru the years. What a f***ing genius !!

After the New Year Concerts, I will face my biggest challenge : writing music for solo guitar, commissioned by the fantastic Spanish guitarist Miguel Trapaga.