I knew Adrian Benn for the first time at Garasi 10 within an exhibition Sada-Soundscape Presentation of the 1950s in Bandung. In this exhibition, I performed a dance in collaboration with a music group Resiguru, and Adrian, the curator for the event.
Adrian, being an active member in a choir group as a tenor singer he then revealed his desire to create a performance. He was dreaming of a collaborative performance of singer, pianist, and dancer by employing musical compositions of Indonesian musicians as its basic materials. He initiated it as a farewell performance prior to his departure to Stockholm for taking his master degree in music and technology.
Four of us then had a meetup and gathering: Adrian (tenor), Delta Demiana (soprano), Nicholas Rio (pianist), Galuh Pangestri (dancer). Armed with musical pieces of the composers and inspired by the works of Indonesian poets, we arranged the acts and managed technical issues like normally done in a performance. We carried out exercise by exercise before this simple collaborative performance held on August 7, 2016, at IFI Bandung. We were enthusiastic by having warm appreciation from the audiences. We evaluated our performance and decided that this project should go on.
Declaring ourselves with the name Poemuse, Nicholas Rio took the role as the producer for the next performance in 2017. As it goes from time to time, Poemuse is present with the motivation to break out of our routines in making art. It means by a desire to present performances that differ from what we usually did.
I proposed a name Poemuse as a terminology since I thought it’s appropriate to represent this art group. Taken from the words poem, and muse rooted in ”music” with its meaning “to inspire”, being a muse. Poemuse belive that music and literature can be composed into new forms which have not been or less explored by Indonesian creators. Musicalized poetry is already well-known yet its room for exploration remains considerable. Aggregation between music and poems has given many possibilities on its own, moreover when it’s enriched with other artistic forms. By accommodating dance, literature, music, acting, and fine arts or even multimedia arts, we’re sure to bring up not only widespread but also unlimited room for exploration.
Since we may have different backgrounds, in Poemuse, we set a foothold where each aspect is in an equal position. None was the most dominant, and this collaboration was rather difficult to be put into specific category of artworks.
The second performance then confirmed to be better than before. We should do any progress. Thus, Poemuse invited an art director to join the collaboration for working on the next performance. It’s her, Kennya Rinonce, a young play director who dedicates himself to the world of art performance.
Poemuse’s second performance had been planned for months including concept meeting, budget planning, and mediation to related parties. This second work titled Senandika, an Indonesian word for soliloquy.
Each personnel deemed their aspiration in making art find its place in this group. Poemuse wishes to back on the stage in 2018 and so on. Despite its slow arrangement due to each personnel’s busy life, we have a will to be continuously present in the field of Indonesian art performances. Our thanks go to all involved parties, supporters of this program, and audiences.
Photo by Poemuse Indonesia
Next blog-post about Senandika