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Gesang and Michael Jackson at Batu's World Music Gallery

Nedi Putra AW
Nedi Putra AW

The Jakarta Post

Batu | Fri, January 19, 2018 | 09:07 am
Gesang and Michael Jackson at Batu's World Music Gallery

King of pop: A visitor stares at a waxwork of Michael Jackson. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

Various types of musical instruments, traditional and modern, are on display at the World Music Gallery, in Jatim Park 3, located in the tourist city of Batu, East Java.

Occupying an area of 3,000 square meters, the gallery features different flute, string and percussion instruments from five continents as well as collections of memorabilia from local and world musicians.

The exhibits are neatly arranged in the three-story building, with its ground floor housing musical instruments from 30 countries including America, Australia, China and Indonesia in separate booths.

Visitors are welcomed by a statue of WR Soepratman, the composer of Indonesia’s national anthem Indonesia

Raya (Great Indonesia), various violins and an installation of dozens of guitars and cymbals.

“We call it the Pohon Musik [Music Tree],” the gallery’s operational manager, Agus Priyanto, said.

Agus said the gallery was designed to create a musical atmosphere to be enjoyed audio-visually.

“We have equipped each booth with a video monitor presenting the relevant instrument so that visitors will hear the sound it produces,” he added.

Iconic: Pohon Musik (Music Tree), the main attraction of Galeri Musik Dunia or World Music Gallery.Iconic: Pohon Musik (Music Tree), the main attraction of Galeri Musik Dunia or World Music Gallery. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

On this floor visitors can also observe the memorabilia of Indonesian musicians, from Krisdayanti back to legendary Dara Puspita and Koes Plus.

“Kris Dayanti and Yuni Shara are seen as top artists who have brought musical fame to Batu,” Agus said.

The second floor displays musical genres ranging from jazz, rock and pop to keroncong (Portuguese-influenced traditional pop music) and dangdut (Hindi-styled folk music).

Wax images accompany the genres like those of The Beatles with their Abbey Road album cover and several vinyl records.

There’s also a collection of musicians’ guitars such as those of Eross Chandra from Sheila on 7, Bon Jovi and Eric Clapton. Visitors can see Led Zeppelin’s vinyl collection and wax figures of the King of Pop Michael Jackson and the King of Rock-n-Roll Elvis Presley.

Indonesia’s musical luminaries also have a place like Chrisye, Titiek Puspa, Ermy Kullit and Gesang, who created the famous song “Bengawan Solo” (Solo River). “Gesang’s heirs contributed the artist’s memorabilia, including his becak [pedicab],” he said.

On the road again: Indonesian reggae artist Tony Q Rastafara (in front) and several visitors take to the road with The Beatles.On the road again: Indonesian reggae artist Tony Q Rastafara (in front) and several visitors take to the road with The Beatles. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

The history of musical instruments can be found on the third floor, represented among other exhibits by gramophones, music boxes and a mini concert hall with a capacity of 500 people. “We present old and modern instruments here,” said Agus, who added that a lot more should be included to complete the collection.

The gallery also plans to provide basic information on some instruments for visitors wishing to learn, after which they will be informed of relevant musical instructors or courses they may be interested in contacting or joining.

The World Music Gallery, open to the public only since Nov. 24, 2017, is in fact not yet filled to capacity as acknowledged by the manager, who also leads a community of old song lovers. “We’re trying to follow current developments by offering trendy music,” he revealed.

According to Agus, the gallery has a mission of building the legendary image of Indonesian and world musicians. “This is aimed at appreciating top musical artists in Indonesia and abroad, thus making the gallery a place of education to gain better knowledge of the musical world,” he said.

In his view, most people basically love music but they lack a deeper interest in musical matters. With this gallery as an input and educational means, public interest in music and respect for musicians will hopefully increase. “The various memorabilia, awards and trophies here are also meant to motivate young people to emerge as world-class musicians,” he anticipated.

Give it a blow: A visitor attempts to blow a long traditional trumpet from Tibet.Give it a blow: A visitor attempts to blow a long traditional trumpet from Tibet. (JP/Nedi Putra AW)

Agus also further expects the gallery to establish Malang as a city of music as the Museum of Indonesian Music, the first of the kind in the country, is already situated in Malang. “As part of educational tourism, we strive to work in a synergetic and complementary way with this museum,” he pointed out.

A number of musicians have visited the gallery, including Ahmad Albar and Ian Antono from God Bless and Indonesian reggae musician Tony Waluyo Sukmoasih, better known as Tony Q Rastafara, who visited the gallery in mid-December.

“People in former times had remarkable ways of making musical expressions,” said Tony, regarded as the country’s leading reggae artist, as he tried out a music box made in Germany in 1890, which plays tunes when a coin is inserted.

Tony also donated the guitar he has played over the past six years, as well as three albums to the gallery.

“It’s my pride to leave my guitar here along with those of other world musicians,” said the guitarist and Bob Marley fan, hoping it could inspire musical creations.

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