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Jakarta Post

‘Musik Bambu’ : Minahasan pomp & circumstance

  • Melati Kaye

    Contributor

Manado   /   Mon, April 16 2012   /  12:04 pm

Sounding: Tara-Tara’s entire “coronet” or mouth organ ensemble.All week long, the fishing hamlet some 20 kilometers offshore from the North Sulawesi capital of Manado presents a vignette of island tranquility: pastel pink church steeple, a wave-lapped beach and white-washed cottages.

But on Thursday nights, the calm in Bunaken is shattered by the raucous practice sessions of the town’s 32-piece “bamboo orchestra” — six rows of men wrapped in contorted yards of bamboo and brass tubing from which they pump out volumes of “oompah” music.

There are two rows of flutes including 83-year-old Simon Lungala giving his large bamboo flute his all. Behind him are nine mouth “coronets”, a few trumpets, a drum and cymbal set, and a generously twisted gigantic bass tuba.

Conductor Zakarias Likawa leads the ensemble, waving his own instrument, which he calls a...