The Jakarta Post
Folk musician Ari Malibu died on Thursday. He was being treated for esophageal cancer since November last year. (The Jakarta Post/YouTube/Galeri Indonesia Kaya)
Veteran folk musician Ari Malibu of the AriReda duo and Pahama Group died in Jakarta on Thursday at the age of 57.
Reda Gaudiamo, Ari’s singing partner in AriReda, announced the news via Instagram.
Ari had been treated for esophageal cancer since November 2017. During the treatment, he continued to perform with Reda and completed three albums for ARiReda in March.
A number of charity concerts had been held for Ari, including in Bandung and Bentara Budaya, Jakarta, in May.
In late May, music journalists Adib Hidayat and Denny MR created a crowdsourcing campaign for Ari’s medical bills. The donations currently amount to Rp 3,808,635 (US$273).
Ari became a member of Pahama folk group, which rose to fame after winning the vocal group category in the 1976 Teenagers Television & Radio Star competition, an acclaimed and legendary singing contest.
With Reda, Ari then founded AriReda in 1982, singing folk songs penned by Simon and Garfunkel and John Denver. In 1987, they were involved in an art appreciation project helmed by poet Sapardi Djoko Damono and Fuad Hassan, the culture and education minister at the time, aiming at helping high school students enjoy poetry through songs.
At the time, they joined a number of literature students at the University of Indonesia who took part in translating poetry into songs. The pair infused beautiful, at times bittersweet, melodies into the poems of Sapardi, resulting in the album Hujan Bulan Juni (Rain in June, 1990) and Hujan Dalam Komposisi (Rain in Composition, 1996).
In 1996, Ari with pop folk band LFM released the album Waktu (Time) with fellow members of Ridho Hafiedz (now the guitarist of rock band Slank) and FX Adam Joswara (currently the bassist of industrial rock band Koil as well as an electronic solo act under the name VladVamp).
“Warik”, their sole hit, enjoyed decent mainstream popularity on radio and television in 1996.
In 2007, with 10 songs based on Sapardi’s poems, AriReda released their first official album, Becoming Dew. Their second album, AriReda Menyanyikan Puisi (AriReda Sings Poems) came in 2015, with songs adapted from the works of renowned poets, such as Amir Hamzah, Gunawan Mohamad and Toto Sudarto Bachtiar. (wng)
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