Monday, February 11, 2008

Dangdut Hits Pittsburgh

In the gamelan class, we are not sticking to the standard Sundanese slendro repertoire, but have branched out into a more recent, non-gamelan, form of Indonesian popular music, namely dangdut. (This is basically because dangdut is Andrew's current research project and he is not going to let us miss out.) I am afraid that this means that at our upcoming concerts, the audience will have the unprecedented opportunity to see me in the role of a sort of dancing (or at least gyrating) pop singer. Whether we will have enough microphones to accommodate the whole lineup of singers remains a question, as in rehearsal there are about four of us per mike. On the other hand, most of us don't really know the words yet either. Nor do the songs we're working on seem to be quite suited to my vocal range.
But... Our most entertaining number seems likely to be that sexy 80s hit Mandi Madu, which can be viewed on YouTube in renditions by several performers:

This one is most notable for its jiggling females; personally I like our instrumentation and arrangement much better--or at least the way we were doing it last week. This week the instrumentalists seemed to be dealing with a new arrangement that did not exactly take my fancy.

This one, while more low-key, is sort of cute. (The performance overall, I mean. I don't really have an opinion on the cuteness of the singer.)

This outdoor performance has a lot of audience participation.

And this one is notable especially for the visuals, although whoever sings it is pretty good.

We have a strong suspicion that Andrew has provided us with a heavily bowdlerized translation of this song, although he has given a convincing demonstration of how we should utter all the "ah ah ah" segments. Perhaps it should be used as the soundtrack for my dissertation, even though I've never heard of Toyen having visited Indonesia.

For those who just can't get enough, last semester's dangdut songs are actually online for all to see and hear:
Kegagalan Cinta-Your Cheatin' Heart combo


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Blogger morskyjezek said...

Cool! You're going to be dangdut stars! When is (are) your performance(s)?

February 22, 2008 7:44 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

April 11 and 12. This is your big chance... And of course we'll do more traditional gamelan as well and look less ridiculous.

February 22, 2008 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April 11 & 12, but what hour and where?

March 17, 2008 4:45 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Bellefield Hall, which is across the street from Heinz Chapel (right by the Cathedral of Learning). I don't know the times yet, but they're evening performances.

March 17, 2008 1:14 PM  

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