World Peace Orchestra (WPO) is a musical orchestra group founded by Dwiki Dharmawan. I saw a pamphlet showing WPO shall has a performance at Graha Sabha Pramana (GSP) on October 17. This performance would be the part of 60th anniversary of Gadjah Mada University (UGM). You may find the detail on WPO’s blog here (in Bahasa Indonesia).
Maybe I was lucky, I got double VIP tickets for the night. Then without question, I asked Anastasia to accompany me. I found hard to persuade a girl for an orchestra night, no much people love to enjoy orchestra this days.
I picked her up on six at the evening, arrived on GSP about 7.05 pm. I was surprised because when we entering the parking area, there was people offering us a festival class tickets, because the ticket only sold on official reseller. Well, now I understand why a friend told me before, that the festival class tickets were sold out earlier.
Even for a VIP tickets, we found that we sat still far from the stage. I could only saw silhouettes on the stage, since I didn’t wear my myopic glasses.
The orchestra opened by “Tembang” an Javanese word for “Song” (and become a national vocabulary). Sang by classical voice of Peni Candrarini a Solonese Sinden. A sinden is what we called for a woman who sing accompanied by “gamelan” orchestra, commonly as a soloist in the orchestra. The voice was full of mystical spirit, so was the whole orchestra.
The next part came Krisdayanti, bringing us the song of “Assalamualaikum” a Muslim way to great audiences in musical way. Krisdayanti was one of Diva in Indonesia, so I understand the golden voice her so amazed to audience. Ana asked me to took a picture of her, but I didn’t bring along my camera that night. So I use my Nokia E71 to captured to moment, but only got a blur image.
Then came Rafly a singer from Aceh, brought “Ya Rabbanaa” and “Meukeondroe”. The first one was so soft and build a peaceful atmosphere around the hall. But the second, so energising, full of spirit. Like enjoying a Yin & Yang performance.
Dewa Budjana, a famous guitarist from Indonesia presented us with his own work “On the Way Home”. Full instrumental jazz, as how I felt it, powered with the yearning soul who wish to see again a true home, where all the family is one, live within peace of the Lord. Let us be home home, a home with passion to love, to share, enjoying the life, a full life, with our fathers, mothers, children, friends. Let us be home a peaceful home. The souls whispering trough a tremendous sound wave, breaking all the chains of carelessness, opening the windows showing how colourful our true home.
The spirit of joy was continued opening up with Javanese traditional song “Ilir Ilir” by Peni Candrarini, collaborated with a strong and beautiful sound of Joe Rosenberg’s solis tenor saxophone. Melodies from traditional wisdom with modern encouraged spirit, an unique combination that we can not see every day. “Ilir Ilir” was not an ordinary folksong, it is believed to be composed by Sunan Kalijaga, one of Nine Walis (Walisongo) or God’s messenger for Javanese people especially the Muslims. Continued by a charming Anggito Abimanyu’s Solis flute and special appearance of Steve Thornton on South Africa traditional percussion.
Next, is something that caught me in instant, I got a lot of flash back instantly. Yes, one of wonderful song that I heard many times when I was a child. This song was composed by Maladi, and popularized in the past by Sundari Soekotjo, “Di Bawah Sinar Bulan Purnama” as how translated to English as under the full moonlight. Back then, the pop song was not as much as this days, people still love to hear Keroncong so much, because Keroncong is close to national music for a multicultural nation of Indonesia. My mother who is the member of Persit Kartika Chandra Kirana, used to brought me along on many singing sessions, and they always singing Hymns, Anthems, and Keroncong. Well, I got used with Keroncong and love to hear it.
That night “Di Bawah Sinar Rembulan” sang by Krisdayanti with a beautiful voice and powerful musical orchestra. Obviously it was felt different than watching on television or listening from the radio. Felt so live (even it was a live performance) and every single word so meaningful. Let me provide you with lyric in Bahasa Indonesia.
Di bawah sinar bulan purnama
air laut berkilauan
berayun-ayun ombak mengalir
ke pantai senda gurauan
Di bawah sinar bulan purnama
hati susah tak dirasa
gitar berbunyi riang gembira
jauh malam dari petang
Beribu bintang taburan
menghiasi langit hijau
menambah cantik alam dunia
serta murni pemandangan
Di bawah sinar bulan purnama
hati susah jadi senang
si miskin pun yang hidup sengsara
semalam itu bersuka
The next stage was showing I Nyoman Windha, the title is “Gunungan” composed by both Nyoman Windha and Dwiki Dharmawan. It was like enjoying the dance between modern symphony and Balinese traditional gamelan.
But was is Gunungan, it can not literally translated as mountain in English. I don’t excatly know what is this Gunungan that WPO showed us. But there is a word of “Gunungan” ini our language, it refers to the first wayang to performance on traditional “wayang kulit” show, it tells the audience if the wayang are ready to begin. It is believed to invented by Raden Patah who is the first sultan of Kasultanan Demak and the son of King Brawijaya (the last king of Kingdom of Majapahit).
Once before, my professor from Canada t
old me the philosophy inside the Gunungan. It is a mirror of our life. The base is a door guarded a couple of demonic giant, yet our life is simple as we entering it in a hard way. The first impression when we see the life fully is seeing it like seeing a live hell, people used to take a hard way of life. Full of confusion, and demanding so many things.
In Gunungan there is a painting or relief of a tree, we call it Kalpataru – The Tree of Life (today Kalpataru named on an award that gave to a person who care to environment and nature conservation in our country). It showing us that the life so complex, we will meet so many things, those make us smile, cry, anger, laugh and fell many more emotions. But only by walking trough all complexity one shall find the top of the tree, where symbolized as shining treetop. One become wise to see the complexity of life, one no longer longing on the maze of emotions, one no longer asking for a light in the darkness life jungle since one already shining by oneself.
Gunungan remembering the audiences to the complexity of life, and how we having a journey in life. So what ever the performance that shall gave to the audiences so it may useful for their life. World Peace Orchestra with Nyoman Windha gave us an ancient wisdom with both traditional and modern musical ways merged in a perfect harmony.
It was the beginning of Janger’s song performance, I knew that night has fall late maybe about thirty to ten. I asked Anastasia if she prefer to get home right away, yes she replied. Even only a half way for the orchestra to performance, I felt glad to come and very enjoying the atmosphere around us. We left the Graha Sabha Pramana at once, the air was fell so clement and clean. I took her home, and said very much thanks for accompanied me that night, then sorry for brought her home so late.
I went home with joyful excitement, riding along the night road of Yogyakarta city where the lamps was sparkling beautifully along the way. Thanks to everyone that bring the night to came true. And happy 60th anniversary to Gadjah Mada University – my beloved school and lovely yard.