When someone loves art so much and blessed with such talent that enables him to explore the unlimited musical terrains, you can only imagine how many special things he would create. That can be applied to Dwiki Dharmawan. He has been having colorful journey in the music industry as well as opening many creative fields in it. As a proud Indonesian son, he has represented the art and culture forms of his nation to the international scene. Along with the “Wonderful Indonesia”, Dwiki has done lots of positive campaigns about Indonesia around the globe.
This campaign landed mostly in Europe through appearances in prestigious fests such as Montreaux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, Floriade Netherlands, and in Vienna (Jazz Fest Wien), where Dwiki has been visiting almost regularly since 2005. He performed not only with Krakatau and fellow Indonesian musicians but also with his international friends. This including two shining projects he has presented live also made into the recording, the World Peace Orchestra (2009) consisting of multi-national stars and Eastmania (will be released this year) where he’s joined by Kamal Musallam, Bill Cobham, Kai Eckhardt, Rascha Rizk and Nasser Salameh.
The last time Dwiki landed in Vienna was last year (July 8, 2012), at the Jazz Fest Wien (Vienna Jazz Festival) in Austria. In this occasion he presented his collaborative project with Oliver Steger (contrabass) and the Violet Spin String Quartet consists of Lukas Lauerman (cello), Judith Reitner (viola), Paul Dangl (violin) dan Irene Kepl, a violist who’s also in charge as the leader of the quartet. This session was recorded and now officially released in the shape of DVD. The launching of “Dwiki Dharmawan String Quaret Project mit Oliver Steger & Violet Spin Live at Jazz Fest Wien” DVD was held last Friday afternoon, February 22, 2013 at D’Consulate Lounge, Jakarta.
How did he came up with the collaboration with string? It all started from a talk with the curator of Salihara Theater, also a world class composer Tony Prabowo. He urged Dwiki to do a solo piano concert, back to the first instrument Dwiki learnt when he was still a child. Then Dwiki got another inspiration when watching Chic Corea performed with string group Kronos Quartet and Turtle Island Quartet. Combining the first idea from Tony and the Chick Corea’s performance, Dwiki established a new concept. He took his own compositions and the Indonesian folk songs into repertoires played by piano, acoustic bass and four strings (two violins, one viola and one cello).
This concept was launched for the first time at Salihara at the end of 2011. Finally, after playing the electronic keyboard and synthesizer, Dwiki came back to the root by playing piano together with the string quartet.
This newly launched DVD is the result of the mutual friendship between Dwiki Dharmawan and Fritz Thom, the founder/director of Jazz Fest Wien who’s also active as the Head of IJFO (International Jazz Festival Organization). Thom’s Live Performance Service company enables Dwiki to bring his String Quartet concept all over Europe by involving local string players. These selected players not only consist of proffesional musicians but also some professor in music institution in each particular cities.
When performed in Vienna, the idea to make it into live DVD emerged. He was introduced to contrabassist Oliver Steger and the Violet Spin String Quartet who then played alongside him at Arkedenhof/Ratthaus Vienna. The recording was directed by Thomas Dobrovits and produced by Fritz Thom. The lovely wife of Dwiki, Ita Purnamasari acted as the executive producer.
The producer Fritz Thom clearly stated that Dwiki Dharmawan String Quartet Project mit Oliver Steger & Violet Spin is a very special concert. For us it’s not only something special, but also groundbreaking. By creating a possibility to involve local musicians, Dwiki can tour in easier way and at the same time introducing his compositions/arrangements which includes the traditional Indonesian folk songs to the musicians in the other side of hemisphere. It’s an efficient and brilliant move to show the rich quality of Indonesian music pieces, especially when it comes from a maestro like Dwiki. He has gained many acclaims from international superstars who already played his compositions such as Russel Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip, Andy Suzuki among others. They all said that Dwiki made beautiful and unique arrangements which are challenging to play.
The official launching of the DVD was hosted by Dwiki Dharmawan himself along with the Vice Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy of the Republic of Indonesia Sapta Nirwandar and the Founder/Chairman of Jazz Fest Wien, Fritz Thom. While Fritz expressed his happiness and excitement over the release, Dwiki expressed his hope to continue the mutual collaboration with Austrian and European musicians in general.
The DVD consists of 8 songs played in live session. 3 songs were taken from Indonesian folk collection: “Cik Cik Periuk” (West Borneo), “Paris Barantai (South Borneo), Janger (Bali), four Dwiki’s own compositions: “Jazz for Freeport”, “Numfor”, “Arafura” and the never-been released “Tribal Dance”, and one encore, “Vienna Jamz.”
While the DVD soon available at the nearest CD stores as well as onlines, don’t miss the Dwiki Dharmawan String Quartet Project at the Java Jazz Festival 2013, continuing his 2012 presentation with the Sa’unine Quartet. It could be difficult for us in Indonesia to reach Vienna, but now we can have much easier access of it through the DVD. Watch how Dwiki promotes Indonesia in the international scene, something we should always be proud of.