lunes, 14 de febrero de 2011

The truth on Dalam Doaku

Today's Valentine's Day, and with the many requests for my "top hit" Dalam Doaku for my radio program yesterday Sunday prior to the V day I was asked by several fans of our program thru my facebook about this particular song and what was the circumstances of my composing it.

To tell you the truth, it was far from any kind of turbulence caused by love. It was written during the darkest hours at my hotel in Antwerp, Belgium in 2007. I was touring to 3 cities at that cold January winter (and it was snowing, yes). Since Belgium is a small country, I stayed in one city, which is Antwerp and in the afternoons before the concerts someone from the organizer picked me up and took me to the cities where I played (it was Ghent, Bruxelles and Antwerp itself). I didn't know anyone in Belgium at that time, so I was terribly, horribly lonely. Winter was severe, and the sun already set at about 4 p.m. I always arrived at my hotel around or after midnight after the post-concert party (and pretty drunk too), and I couldn't sleep because of both exhaustion and loneliness, so on the second night I decided to compose instead of being in a bad mood trying to sleep. It was also a method to forget the same repeated music I played in those concerts. At that time I brought Sapardi Djoko Damono's book of poems everywhere with me, since I was completely in love with them, and I felt that his poem Dalam Doaku clicked with the darkness of the nights outside the window. I composed in bed till it would be almost dawn, and I just fell asleep with music papers scattered all around me till just before lunch time (I always skipped breakfast). After the tour finished, I tried it on my piano back home and changed some small trivial things (being drunk meant that I made some mistake in writing some chords!), and even during the recording with Bernadeta Astari & Joseph Kristanto we did change one bar of the baritone part although the score was already published. In fact, I do not have that revised bar with me, only Joseph Kristanto had it in his copy (I hope he hasn't erased it since it was done, as I remember, in pencil).

And a few days prior to the Valentine's, a friend of mine, young pianist Felix Justin made a very beautifully done video clip on the recording. Check it out, when it's finished it could bring tears in your eyes, I tell you.

Dalam Doaku in fact, if I am not mistaken, became the first piece that was part of my first cantata, Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love). Originally it was written with the accompaniment of english horn, flute, piano & a keyboard (which is in fact a kind of short score for a string orchestra). One day I would like to orchestrate it.

So, pretty boring eh? You'd regret asking the reason it was composed, right? And you might ask, is there a secret message in this song, just like most of my music? The answer my friend, is yes. But as it is defined by the word, then it has to be kept so :) . If you wanna clue: it has nothing to do with the words. The magic craft is "polyphony".