About two weeks ago, my friends and I organised a concert dedicated to those affected by the Wasior, Mentawai, and Merapi disasters. The concert, Angklung Charity Concert: “Bamboo in Harmony”, was first initiated by teh Desiree, who was a member of an angklung group years ago, and was led by our lovely conductor, teh Ida Soesanti.
Equipped with a borrowed set of angklung from the Indonesian embassy in Brussels and having only ONE month to practice, we managed to present 8 songs in total, ranging from Pileuleuyan (Indonesian traditional song), I Have a Dream, Menuet in G (Bach) to Song of Do-Re-Mi (from Sound of Music). It was truly a challenge to put everything together as many of us were still beginners (in playing music!). We could actually hear a lot of “holes” in the notes we played a week before the concert! It definitely didn’t sound good.
But surprisingly, we were able to play those songs beautifully during the concert! The audiences were amazed by our performance, including the Indonesian ambassador (oh yes, he came all the way from Den Haag :D). Everyone had a great time, indeed. Besides the angklung performance, there was an angklung workshop done by teh Ida, in which the audiences got a chance to learn how to play angklung. What was the result of this workshop? They could play Edelweiss with angklung in an instant!!
There were also guest performances of kacapi suling and rampak kendang, performed by our Indonesian friends from Germany and UK; as well as some introduction videos about angklung.
The downside was that, there weren’t many people came to the concert. It was perhaps due to lack of publicity and the fact that we were still an unknown musical group. But the fact that we raised more than 1000 euros for the disaster victims made us so happy! It was a GREAT achievement, indeed! 🙂
Not to mention that, after the concert, the embassy invited us to perform next year at Pasar Malam Indonesia, which is a major annual cultural event organised by the Indonesian embassy in Den Haag!!! Our newly-formed angklung team also became more famous around the Netherlands! Hehehe.
Anyway… this was my first time playing angklung! What an experience! The first few weeks of constant practising resulted in my right hand to be somewhat stiffed. It also had been years ago that I actually saw and “read” a partiture. I enjoyed it so much, nevertheless. By the time the concert finished, it felt weird not to play this instrument again. I missed it already!
Now, the question remains, who wants to donate a set of angklung to us? 😀
* Photos courtesy of teh Ida & mbak Inne