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Contemplation, hope in Christabel Annora’s 'Sudut Kamar'

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, August 19, 2020  /  05:15 pm
Contemplation, hope in Christabel Annoraโ€™s 'Sudut Kamar'

Indonesian musician Christabel Annora. (Rekam Jaya/Rexi Tegar Pratama)

Singer and pianist Christabel Annora released a cassette tape version of her first instrumental mini album Sudut Kamar (A Corner of the Room) on Aug. 15.

Released in a limited quantity of 50 copies, the physical album bears a resemblance to tapes that were released in the 1980s with its simple design and plastic packaging. It consists of six tracks, namely “Tirai Pembuka” (The Opening Curtain), “Sudut Kamar”, “Selamat Pagi” (Good Morning), “Perempuan-Perempuan” (Women), “Selfishness” and “Blues dari Rumah” (Blues from Home).


New baby ๐Ÿ’›๐ŸŒผ very grateful for this. Thank you @tokorekamjaya ! #sudutkamar

A post shared by Christabel Annora (@christabelannora) on

The first four numbers were included on the digital version of Sudut Kamar, which was released in June on music streaming platform Spotify and Apple Music.

Christabel wrote and recorded each song on the album in her home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album is said to be a manifestation of her mind and soul as she had to work from home and carry out daily activities alone in her room. Each composition contains its own restlessness, sadness and acceptance, which are apparent through her piano playing.

On YouTube, Christabel wrote that she felt various undefined feelings when she had to stay in her room for such a long time. She was happy and relieved at becoming more relaxed and grateful for being able to spend more time at home than usual, but she also felt anxious, scared and longing.

Tirai Pembuka” is a gentle opening to the album, giving a sense of apprehensiveness in a subtle way and prepares listeners to the second track, “Sudut Kamar", inspired by her favorite corner in her room.

Christabel said that her creative process occurred in the corner of her room, located adjacent to a window where she could stare at the outside. “Sometimes it is the place that I look at the most when I need to calm myself down,” she wrote.

The particular spot also symbolizes the singer’s personal space when she contemplates and reflects on her life. 

Sudut Kamar” gets more intense and dramatic as the song progresses with the harmony of piano and string instruments. It is where restlessness, sadness and acceptance come together in a touching moment. However, those feelings seem to slowly, though not completely, lessen in “Selamat Pagi”.

The digital album ends with the instrumental version of “Perempuan-Perempuan”, released on April 21 to commemorate Kartini Day. With its slow tempo, the song provides a ray of hope that it will get better someday. The song still resonates the same strength even if people haven’t listened to its original version.

Produced by record label Rekam Jaya, the cassette tape album of Sudut Kamar contains a booklet filled with Christabel’s short explanations of each song. Its pre-order stocks sold out in less than 24 hours.

The album is available for purchase online with prices starting from Rp 50,000 (US$3.38).

Born in Malang, East Java, Christabel launched her debut album Talking Days in 2016. She has collaborated with Indonesian bands of various genres, including Slank, Payung Teduh, The Morning After, Folkapolka and Silampukau. (wng)

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