Ethnical Bamboo Music
Composer Sugeng Pratikno is famous for his takes on music from bamboo. With his group, The Swarning Pring Ensemble, he presented beautiful bamboo music concerts that is unique and mystifying. Not so long ago, Sugeng and the ensemble performed a music concert titled “Sapta”, which means seven, in an event created by the Utan Kayu community in Jakarta.
According to Sugeng, the number seven has a very deep meaning to him. That's what caused him to choose “Sapta” as title and theme for the music concert. "The number seven is widely available in this life. For example, one week consists of seven days. Musical notes also consist of seven tones. So I split the concert into seven parts, because I think the number seven has a lot of meaning for human life," he said.
The concert that lasted about 1.5 hours consists of seven sections and each section has its own nuances. For example, there are parts that seemed to want to thrill the audiences with a loud thump of drums and tambourines. There is also a part that seemed to want to invite audiences into a mystical world of peace with the strains of violins and clinking bells.
Some musical instruments that used at the concert made by Sugeng himself, especially those made of bamboo. Sugeng chose bamboo as the material of his musical instruments because he can easily get it from around his home in Bojonggede. Although the bamboo is not of the best quality, the sound produced is still magnificent.
One such musical instrument is Tala; a tuning fork-shaped musical instrument that made from bamboo. The musical instrument played by banging it into another bamboo to create a unique sound. It took a year for Sugeng to make all the needed instruments for his ensemble.
Aside the musical aspect, the ensemble itself also has its own uniqueness in terms of instrument players. When another ensemble every musical instrument played by one person, Sugeng’s ensemble consists of only four people, outside of himself. Because it consists only of four people, the ensemble members plays more than one musical instruments alternately.
"We want to show that an ensemble doesn't need a lot of people. An ensemble consists of small number of people can performed very well also," said Sugeng.
Through his compositions in "Sapta", Sugeng wish he had provided an unforgettable music experience for his audiences. "I hope the audiences will appreciate bamboo music after watching this concert. I'm not trying to give a specific message through this composition. I'm just trying to present a themed musical composition that is interesting for them," he said.