The Indonesian National Orchestra (INO), under leadership of composer and music director Franki Raden, will start its world premiere tour in Australia. Showcasing a repertoire of Indonesian music, both traditional and contemporary, the National Orchestra is expected to enthrall audiences in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney.
In Melbourne, the orchestra is due to appear on September 29 at the prestigious Melbourne Recital Hall. INO will then continue its tour to Canberra, where they are scheduled to play at the Llewellyn Hall on October 6, to end their Australia tour at the City Recital Hall Angel Place in Sydney on October 9. Besides presenting concerts, the orchestra will hold workshops for music students at the Monash University and the Australia National University.
“A visit to Australia by the Indonesian National Orchestra would foster a progressive view of Indonesian culture in the 21st century,” said Professor Greg Schiemer, Composer, Australia.
Besides playing diverse ethnic musical instruments from throughout Indonesia, it is of note that musicians in the INO originate from different parts of the country, each having his or her own mix of characteristics and backgrounds. Many are maestros in indigenous music, who have dedicated their entire life to the authentic music of their particular island. The diversity in INO, in fact, reflects the portrait of Indonesia’s rich possibilities. At least 40 musicians in INO will play traditional instruments such as the Sasando from Flores, the taganing from Tapanuli in North Sumatra, the Javanese rebab, and percussions from many areas: the kulintang from North Sulawesi, the rebana, bedug, and several modifications of ethnic instruments.
Adding to the grandeur of their performance, Mantras of the Dayak will be chanted by a choir.
This one-of-a-kind orchestra made its debut at the Balairung Sapta Pesona in Jakarta on May 12, 2011. At that unforgettable concert, 60 musicians together played 45 types of musical instruments from all corners of Indonesia into one fascinating orchestral presentation. Franki Raden managed to combine all the different sounds and rhythms into one elaborate harmony.
Franki Raden, central character of INO, is an Indonesian composer and ethno-musicologist who initiated INO as the manifestation of his interest in Indonesia’s ethnic music since his student days at the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ). Fifteen years of his career traveling through the USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, and France could not persuade him to let go of his original passion. He graduated as Master in Music in 1990 and attained his PhD in Ethno-musicology in 2001. Franki then went on to become assistant professor in Fine Arts Cultural Study program at the York University in Toronto, Canada, from 2004 to 2005. Singapore was his last home base before finally returning to his beloved homeland: Indonesia.
The uniquely Indonesian musical performance will no doubt be a special occasion for Australian audiences. Not only will they hear amazing musical compositions played by instruments mainly dominated by percussion, strings, and wind instruments made out of wood, bamboo, and other natural materials, but they will also witness the awe-inspiring skills of the artists and musicians who play them together into one majestic harmony.