Academie of FarSide
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Academie of FarSide

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"Bringing the culture of jazz alive in rural Yogya"

Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Bantul, Yogyakarta

In Indonesia, jazz music has long been thought of as the preserve of the wealthy middle-class.
That is probably why jazz festivals and performances are generally held at comfortable venues like star-rated hotels, cafes, pubs and executive clubs.
This image, however, was totally turned upside down here in the ancient city of Yogyakarta, where a jazz festival, "Ngayogjazz 2007" was held in the heart of a traditional Javanese village on Sunday.
Musician Djaduk Ferianto came up with the idea of staging the festival in a rural setting in a bid to bring jazz music to the wider community.
"Music, including jazz, will only survive when it is accepted by the community. The more people who come to accept it, the stronger its chances of survival," Djaduk told The Jakarta Post on the sidelines of Ngayogjazz.
So, he chose the arts center of his late father, Bagong Kussudiarjo, in Kembaran village, Kasihan, Bantul, on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, as the venue for the jazz festival.
The festival program included some traditional music and performing arts in an effort to appeal to the broader public.
"So, this is what they call jazz, huh? I think I'll like it," a visitor said, adding that he was only really there out of curiosity.
To add to the color and vibrancy of the festival, the organizing committee decided to hold it in conjunction with the village's traditional cleansing ritual of Merti Dusun.
Ngajogjazz 2007 opened with a parade of villagers wearing traditional dress around the village as part of the cleansing ritual and a Jathilan "trance dance".
A bazaar involving local traders selling food, ornamental plants, handicrafts, T-shirts, CDs and magazines helped bring the festival together.
The festival provided a dynamic platform for dialogue between jazz lovers and the local community. Stallholders were not charged and there was no entrance fee either.
The eight jazz groups and many singers who performed also did so for free.
"We all had the same idea and mission: To make jazz more accessible," Djaduk said.
He is optimistic jazz will eventually be embraced at a grassroots level in Indonesia, especially considering the music has its roots in poor, black, urban American society.
Quoting Dutch author Allard J.M. Moller, Djaduk said jazz was first introduced in Indonesia in 1922. Yet the music was performed mainly at venues frequented by expatriates like cafes, clubs and bars.
"Although regular people have come to appreciate jazz, the image of jazz as the music of the elite remains," Djaduk said.
He said jazz bands in Yogyakarta had been very enthusiastic about the festival. Six of the groups that performed were from Yogyakarta, including Travels, Living Room, Caravan and Gudeg Jogja, and two -- Attilion and Academie of FarSide -- from Jakarta. Singers Iga Mawarni, Syaharani, Tri Utami and Viki Sianipar and contemporary kendang (traditional wooden drum) player Sujud Kendang also put in appearances.
- Jakarta Post


2004: Windig Notes
2006: BRADAKOOM!!!

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Realizing the need to keep music as wide as the universe, Oka (drums) decided to leave his-already established-cover band to form a new group with personnel from different music backgrounds that in time will shape their music to something fresh and beyond.
The experiment survived its early time and finally evolved into Academie of FarSide.

It’s easy but yet challenging to specify the music of Academie of FarSide, since the musicality fusion of each personnel has become more solid and they refused to be bound in one or several particular genres.

Bearing fresh kind of music, the band has performed at several highlighted music events as a featured artist, some of them are Indonesia Progressive Society-Prog Nite at Avenue in 2005 and Indie Music Festival at BUGS café in 2004. Their latest performances were at Ngayogjazz Festival in Yogyakarta and 30th Jazz Goes To Campus in Depok.

In every occasions the band gave new colors and was highly appreciated by the audience. In short you will hear them as a space-age jazz quartet