ROLLER­COASTER MU­SI­CAL RIDE

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Front Page - WORDS SE­BAS­TIAN PAR­TOGI

Good films are ca­pa­ble of mak­ing us laugh or cry. Good ones take us through emo­tional highs and lows, with ev­ery­thing in be­tween. Not­ing that, mu­sic as one of im­por­tant el­e­ments in films is cre­ated to en­hance an emo­tional im­pact that par­tic­u­lar scenes are about to de­liver. A con­cert called Hol­ly­wood in Jakarta, held on Dec. 10 at the Theater Jakarta at the Ta­man Is­mail Marzuki (TIM) cul­tural cen­ter in Cen­tral Jakarta, seeks to de­liver both mu­si­cal and vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ences that pam­per the senses im­mensely.

As sug­gested by its name, the con­cert pre­sents 18 songs (plus two ad­di­tional ones dur­ing the en­cores) from the Hol­ly­wood mo­tion pictures.

The or­ga­nizer said the per­for­mance was aptly sched­uled to be played in De­cem­ber, when peo­ple might find their spir­its start­ing to worn out af­ter deal­ing with a tough year marked by an eco­nomic slow­down, along with other types of cri­sis.

In ad­di­tion to the tim­ing, another spe­cial thing from the con­cert is that it is more than con­ven­tional live-band per­for­mance.

Dur­ing the con­cert, all the pieces were per­formed with an or­ches­tral set­ting for a series of per­for­mances by Jakarta Con­cert Orches­tra (JCO), com­plete with the ten­der cho­ral voices from the Batavia Madri­gal Singers and the Res­o­nanz Chil­dren’s Choir.

A num­ber of chanteuses, namely Lisa Depe and Ste­fani Yang, as well as a male solo vo­cal­ist Far­man Pur­nama also per­formed dur­ing

a con­cert con­ducted by Avip Pri­atna.

Avip said this year’s con­cert was dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous Classical Goes

to Cinema pre­sen­ta­tion in 2014, where he ex­clu­sively picked classical con­certo themes fea­tured in var­i­ous movies, as the lat­est project did not clas­si­cize the Hol­ly­wood themes.

“We also rein­ter­pret some of the songs to make them sound dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nal ver­sions in or­der to avoid bore­dom,” he said.

Ar­rangers for the songs are Joko Le­mazh Supray­itno, Re­nardi Efendi, Fafan Is­fan­diar, Meidy Rat­nasari and Fero Al­dian­sya Ste­fanus.

The set that night was opened by a com­mand­ing in­stru­men­tal per­for­mance of “The Po­lar Ex­press” from a film with the same name.

In the back­ground, footages from the film show­cas­ing the frosty and snowy set­ting of Christ­mas time, with the young pro­tag­o­nist search­ing for a mir­a­cle to change his life, were pre­sented on a big screen.

The first piece de­liv­ered the spirit of re­newal and new hopes af­ter 12 months of day-to-day strug­gles and rou­tines.

At the end of the first song, a woman could be seen wip­ing her eyes, ap­par­ently moved by the per­for­mance.

A sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment was also de­liv­ered in the sec­ond part of the con­cert by another song “When You Be­lieve” from the 1998 film The Prince of Egypt. The song was orig­i­nally per­formed by pop di­vas Mariah Carey and the late Whit­ney Hous­ton.

But this time, the mes­sage of hope and faith was ar­tic­u­lated in a much louder man­ner, with the two fe­male chanteuses, Lisa and Ste­fani, join­ing forces with the chil­dren choir. When the song ended, you could see more peo­ple wip­ing their noses and eyes, with faint sounds of noses be­ing sucked in.

The melan­choly was then re­in­forced with the next song, “Love Af­fair Theme” from Love Af­fair, with footages of the sweet old lady played by the late Katharine Hep­burn play­ing pi­ano to An­nette Ben­ing and War­ren Beatty. This part was prob­a­bly the one that sent the au­di­ence to the low­est depth of their souls.

How­ever, just as the warm sun­light of spring re­placed the bleak cold win­ter in the coun­try where these Hol­ly­wood films were be­ing pro­duced, the set helped the au­di­ence’s spir­its bounce back with a med­ley of songs from the 2013 an­i­ma­tion Frozen.

Per­formed by chil­dren clad in col­or­ful clothes and cheer­ful moves, the song drew laugh­ter and ex­cite­ment from the au­di­ence, melt­ing their hearts, which had been ‘frozen’ by the melan­choly of the pre­vi­ous song.

Aside from these high­lights, other pieces also man­aged to evoke dif­fer­ent moods were also per­formed.

The wildest ap­plause was given to per­for­mances of songs from the leg­endary 1978 hit Grease as well as 1977

Satur­day Night Fever. The lat­ter song was per­formed by an all-male choir don­ning a 1970s style of cloth­ing. The au­di­ence went wild again dur­ing the per­for­mance of “Cir­cle of Life” from The Lion King as recorded mu­sic and sounds from the choir in­ter­sected with other sounds mim­ick­ing the voices of birds and mon­keys.

A feel­ing of tense and dread, mean­while, in­vaded the au­di­ence dur­ing the per­for­mance of theme songs from

Jaws. The songs were per­formed with the hide-and-seek mu­si­cal tempo that ended in­con­clu­sively with the video show­ing the shark com­ing to­wards a man, trapped in a cage, to open its jaws wide, seem­ingly ready to de­vour him. When the end seemed near, the video stopped.

Another high­light came when Lisa per­formed Adele’s “Sky­fall” with a very strong voice which went louder than the voice of the real singer. This num­ber show­cased Lisa’s abil­ity as a singer that man­aged to cross the line of classical and pop mu­sic.

“We pick songs that could rep­re­sent the whole Hol­ly­wood cat­a­log from then un­til now, which work in an or­ches­tral ar­range­ment. We, how­ever, try to avoid cer­tain songs which al­ready get clichéd be­cause they get played very fre­quently,” Avip said. Af­ter the clos­ing num­ber from Les

Misérables, the au­di­ence shouted, clam­or­ing for an en­core. Then footage from 2012 film Joy­ful Noise ap­peared, with a gospel choir singing and the Kiki Palmer char­ac­ter was rep­ri­manded by the con­duc­tor for “singing too loud”. Then, the orches­tra and choir pulled off an elec­tri­fy­ing, soul­ful ver­sion of a num­ber from the film.

Then for the sec­ond en­core, the au­di­ence en­joyed a piece from The Bea­tles’ “Twist and Shout”, which got them clap­ping and mov­ing their body along to the tune. The en­er­giz­ing song was an ap­pro­pri­ate choice to end that evening with the au­di­ence’s spir­its sky-high.

Af­ter the sec­ond en­core ended, no­body got up from their chairs yet, ap­par­ently be­ing glued there, amazed by the per­for­mance. It was not un­til a few min­utes later, when a for­mal recorded an­nounce­ment was broad­casted through the theater hall that the au­di­ence re­al­ized that it was all over for good.

THE MAE­STRO: Con­duc­tor Avip Pri­atna leads the orches­tra play­ing dif­fer­ent songs from Hol­ly­wood movies. SPEC­TAC­U­LAR PER­FOR­MANCE: Jakarta Con­cert Orches­tra gives au­di­ence an un­for­get­table night with their mu­si­cal per­for­mance.

PHOTOS BIMO RAHARJO

COL­OR­FUL SPIRIT: Chil­dren clad in col­or­ful clothes and cheer­ful moves sing a med­ley of songs from the 2013 an­i­ma­tion Frozen.

MAG­NIF­I­CENT THREE: ( from left to right) Vo­cal­ists Far­man Pur­nama, Ste­fani Yang and Lisa Depe per­form in Hol­ly­wood in Jakarta con­cert.

MEN IN BLACK: All-male choir don­ning a 1970s style of cloth­ing per­forms the 1977 hits from Satur­day Night Fever.

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