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‘Indisch’ music steps out of shadows

Bambang Muryanto

The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta  /  Thu, May 9, 2019  /  04:45 pm
‘Indisch’ music steps out of shadows

Retracing history: Henk Mak van Dijk, a Dutch pianist and anthropologist, presented his research on indisch music at the Out of the Shadow exhibition in Yogyakarta on April 8. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

The tune of “Ketjoeboeng” as played on the piano filled the concert hall of the Indonesian Arts Institute Yogyakarta (ISI Jogja) on April 8. The piano man is 63-year-old Dutch pianist and anthropologist Henk Mak van Dijk. “Ketjoeboeng is a beautiful flower but it’s a dangerous, mystical bloom,” Van Dijk explained about the charming, yet poisonous, devil’s trumpet (Datura metel). “In this composition, the music seems to soar and [then] disappears suddenly,” he said. “Ketjoeboeng” falls into the Indisch genre, a blend of Western music and Indonesian cultural elements – including Malay and Javanese quatrains – that developed during the Dutch colonial era in the Indonesian archipelago (then known as the Dutch East Indies). Musical blend: Visitors are reading information panels on indisch, a genre with clas...