sábado, 4 de abril de 2009


No, that's not a title of a new piece. It's what I have been thinking these days, writing my new opera.

Let's face it, my (and many of other artist's) taste is not (always) the common public taste. Nobody has heard even one note of my new "pocket opera" IBU (oh, by the way, this word means "Mother"), but many questions, opinions and even protests (!) have been sent to me regarding my article about my creative process (see my previous entry). Most of you expressed concern about this surrealistic idea of mine of writing "unfinished" arias in my new opera. And now that it is 99% finished, I can see that I am truthful to my original idea about "unfinishing" arias, recitatives, even its overture and instrumental intermezzi. Basically, most of your reaction is simply "Hmmm ...Andy, I don't think it's a good idea ..."

"Unfinished" is my way of symbolizing the underlying theme of IBU : What really happened to my son ? And it also expresses this kind of strange sadness. If you have an unanswered (and very important) question in your life, I guess that's what happened. Everything keeps hanging in the air. But one thing is symbolism, another thing is being artistic. Will the public stand an opera, sung by one and only one singer (Aning Katamsi will be spectacular in her singing and acting, I can assure you, but this lasts for 35 minutes non-stop !), singing broken arias all the time ?

But hey, writing with this technique could perhaps make an "Indonesian identity". You see, Indonesian public likes to clap (which is nice, I know. Imagine a public who does NOT like to clap !), especially between movements and even before a piece is finished. I always regret them clapping right before the coda of my song, "Dalam Doaku". This coda was very difficult to write, and I think I succeeded in its timing and placement. But Indonesian public never heard it because they always clap right before the coda arrives ! So, "broken arias" might be a solution to avoid them clapping, he he ...

I have done some "dangerous" artistic experiments in my life. Some failed, some succeeded, as usually happened in any kind of experiments. I lost count on the amount of music I wrote that ended up in my dustbin. The last time I did this kind of experiment was in the film "Romeo & Juliet" by film director Andibachtiar Yusuf, already received its world premiere at the Hongkong International Film Festival a few weeks ago, and due to be premiered in Indonesia on the 25th this month. Some say it's outrageous, some say it's brilliant, but I will let time to tell the ultimate truth. Which means that in a few years time, when I am older (and hopefully wiser) I will look at it again and see whether I did a brilliant thing or I was just exercising an idiocy.

Some artist friends always told me that the public is not my business. But then I believe, with several other artists friends, that I am part of the public. Whatever the truth is, for many many years now I've been holding on to this catchy phrase of my favorite painter Piet Mondriaan : "Art has to be forgotten, beauty must be realized".

World Premiere of "IBU -- yang anaknya diculik itu" will be held at the World Theatre of BIS ( British International School )
Bintaro Jaya Sektor IX, Jl. Raya Jombang
Ciledug, Pondok Aren
Sunday, June 7, 2009 at 4 p.m

Performers will be : Aning Katamsi, soprano as IBU
Elizabeth Ashford, flute
Ananda Sukarlan, piano
BIS Children Choir dan JCOM Children Choir
conducted by Elizabeth Ashford dan Mirta Hartono