For human, 19 years old is considered the best age for many, where life becomes even more interesting. It can be the same for a band when it still stays strong for that long. 19 year is not a short while. There can be many thing happen during those years, it could be very fruitful with lots of achievements that often surpass the members’ expectation. Let’s see the case of simakDialog, which celebrates its 19 years anniversary in service. Born into this world as the brainchild of Riza Arshad and his musical soulmate Arie Ayunir in 1993, simakDialog has been progressing far to where it stands today.
SimakDialog now exists as 6 piece band, featuring virtuous keyboardist/composer Riza Arshad, all-round guitarist Tohpati, bassist Adhitya Pratama and three musicians who master the traditional instruments, Endang Ramdan, Erlan Suwardana and Cucu Kurnia on kendangs and metal toys. Look closer to the music instruments they are using, you might wonder why drum is not listed. That’s the way simakDialog build their concept. Instead of using drum, they decided to utilize kendang as the ‘backbone’ rhythm, which, in this case, has more vital role to be the ‘time keeper’. “Just like Ravi Shankar and Zakir Hussein has done by introducing Indian instrumentation in Western music”, explained Riza Arshad. What’s good about it is that simakDialog never stops observing. For years they have been intensely studied, examined and analyzed the long play system, also to explore the possibility of composing something different. Riza Arshad told us, “We often make some changes in preparing or deciding the compositions until reaching the best result according to the concept.” That should be able to let you see how serious they always are in creating each of their craft.
Eventhough the band has been running for almost 2 decades, by having a solid ensemble Riza Arshad feels that he still has many things to try and share. “I like working on this band – it’s sort of gives me pressures to do more and keep trying new thing,” he said. The new album has been in making for two years. Riza Arshad said that the innovation won’t be as deep as the previous one (Demi Masa, 2009), but while the musical concept’s growth will still be felt, they are focusing in letting us feel the wider role of kendang inside a musical ensemble. (Read two articles of simakDialog’s upcoming album here: http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/simakdialogs-upcoming-6th-album-first-announcement/ and http://jazzuality.com/jazz-news/simakdialogs-upcoming-6th-album-the-second-letter-from-riza-arshad/). In Riza’s own words, he described it this way: “This time, I make the music less complicated in armony/structural wise than some numbers on Patahan or Demi Masa – for instance – I used more ‘common’ harmony approach almost in each composition in order to make listener pay more attention on the band’ rhythm section, and hope that they would experience with this ‘new approach’ concept and begin to get familiar to our music that based on traditional Sundanese terms.”
Being distributed internationally by MoonJune Records and so far gained many praises and critical acclaims from all over the world, the band has also extend its journey to reach the far away lands like Berlin and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Now listen, simakDialog will hold a special concert at the historical Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (GKJ; Jakarta Art Building), built during the Dutch colonial period originally known as Schouwburg Weltervreden. This is not the first time for them to present this cross ethno-jazz progressive ensemble, but surely this one is going to be different, at least you can see the latest progress of the band. So after the very interesting music festival “The Unplugged” which will end this week on December 14, 2012, this jazz concert of Gedung Kesenian Jakarta is definitely a catch.
There are many reasons why we always say that simakDialog deserves to stand as one of the milestones of Indonesian jazz history. The different color they created represents the richness of our own traditional arts and cultures, on top of it, all have been solidly built with high creativity, limitless ideas and masterclass play. They have impressed international audience/listeners, it’s time for us to show our appreciation, respect and support for this unique ensemble. And you can do it by simply coming to the event. Mark your calendar now for Friday, December 21, 2012 and feel the new dimension of jazz that blends with our own cultural outfit in the most natural way.
SimakDialog at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta
Date: Friday, December 21, 2012
Time: 08:00pm – onwards
Location: Gedung Kesenian Jakarta
Jl. Gedung Kesenian no 1, Jakarta, 10710
Ticket: IDR 100.000
Buy the ticket at our online store: http://store.jazzuality.com/products/ticket/tiket-konser-jazz-simakdialog/
or please contact:
Roelly : +62 21 3441892, 96693433