Sunday, July 08, 2007


Sujiwo Tejo will launch his album "BERSAMA KITA YA I YO...." in Surakarta, 11 Juli 2007 (pk. 19.30 wib) at Teater Besar ISI Surakarta, Jl. Ir. Sutami 19, Surakarta.

Friends who live in Surakarta and near that city, can come to see the music concert of Sujiwo Tejo and his group. FOR FREE!

In that performance, Tejo will supported by Bintang Indrianto (bass), Imam Garmansyah (keyboard), Kiki Dunung (tenor, sax & percussion) and Taufan Siswadi (drum).

Before the show, one day before (10 Juli 2007, pk. 10.00 wib at Teater Besar ISI Surakarta) will be held: Workshop Bass with Bintang Indrianto.

Good luck for the show, mas Tejo!

Monday, July 02, 2007


Talking about Sujiwo Tejo, we must begin with his phenomenal album in 1998 "Pada Suatu Ketika". I think this is the first album of ethnic music that achieved many award in Indonesian pop music industry. Through this album, Sujiwo Tejo named as The Best New Artist and The Best Performance from MTV Awards 1998 (the result based on people choice by polling).

So i quote 'kata pengantar' or prologue that written by him in the cover of his first album. He said that he wants to be 'a man who entertains' (in Bahasa Indonesia: Laki-Laki Penghibur)...


I would like to express my gratitude to Herwindra Aiko Senonoenoto and Djadug Ferianto. Aiko, Executive Director of PT EKSOTIKA KARMAWIBHANGGA INDONESIA, a newly-established company in the Arts industry, which is formerly a dance studio, for her willingness to become the producer of this ten-song album. Djadug, a musician, has encouraged and convinced me to perform on my own these songs, which are originally meant to be performed by other singer. Due to limited space, I am unable to mention each name one by one to whom I owe my gratitude.

Certainly, only God’s universe is able to contain the universe of all those records of credits: the cigarettes vendor who showed me the way to the recording studio at night, Those people who are involved in trivial phenomenon such as political matters and great phenomenon, like kids whining and begging for their toys, lovers missing their lovers, all of which arouse the inspiration behind several songs; people on the other side who are banging their phones, either out of annoyance or vain or are truly angry which later turn into tears to write several songs; etc.etc.etc.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to those, who still can listen to and those who are already lying in their burial grounds and so are no longer able to listen to these words. Also to those who are worried, doubt or even take for granted, and those who conversely honour the life of arts creation. It is because of all these people that I am more intensely motivated and deterred from becoming an artist. Thus, I only wish to become a man who entertains.

Let God be the only Supreme Entertainer. And let artists be the people who feel that they have reached out to God, then relate those journey in their works. Let those who are angry from losing their public be the people who feel that they have produced religious works of arts from those journey, whilst on the contrary, they still fail to reach out to His Supreme Entertainment.

I remember an old saying: whoever wants to attain God, he will certainly have the world and attain God; whoever wants to have the world, he might or might not have the world, but he certainly will not attain God. My conclusion temporarily is that those who felt that they had attained God through producing works of arts they regarded as religious, but had not had the world, the public, perhaps had not attained God Himself. They merely felt that they had attained God, when they actually still had failed to reach out His Supreme Entertainment among His other Supremacy…

Well, this prologue tends to sound arrogant. When I actually only wish to express my gratitude. These people have reminded me to prefer my life to be a man who entertains. I also express my gratitude to people who have successively and cumulatively produced words, standard pattern of melody and ornamental pattern of melody, which then become the standing point of my attitude in arranging music, selecting words and composing melodies.

After completing the melody of the song, words were picked out firstly for the mere element of sound, not for their meaning, so that they harmoniously fitted the melody and rhythm. Words that fitted commonly are reselected so that chain of the words form a meaning. The form of meaning of that series of words serve only as a kind of compromise in order to become a man who entertains.

It is due to the fault of education system somewhere that when people in general listen to passages of the words, they always demand to know the meaning. Nonetheless, they have never questioned the meaning of the musical sentences from the sound of Sundanese drum, Javanese rebana, kulintang, etc. But, it is not the same with the sound of words. Only certain people listen to passages of the words as music. These people are already civilized for being able to look at words as music itself, for which the instruments are coincidentally mouth, tongue, pharynx, throat, etc.

It is for this sound consideration that the music produced by the instruments of mouth that give rise to various types of words sound is duly adjusted. For instance, words commonly used in daily life are combined with words in wayang (Javanese puppet show) world. (Sasolahe tan mesti batine or lan kinamulan esthiningtyas in The Sound of Orang Asyik; katinon kawistoro in The Frantic Age;riwe in A Prayer At Work), or the combination of pronunciation pattern from various regions (pronunciation pattern East Javanese style, Solo, Yogya, and Banyumasan in Chaos). I hope that those broadcasting stations with no regional music programmes can insert these song in their instrumental programmes. Therefore, the title of these songs are all in Indonesian language. Please read them as instrumental music titled Pleasant Entanglement, instrumental music titled The Burial Grounds, My Love, instrumental music titled At A Moment in Time. Please refer to people producing music from words not as singer, vocalist, but musician or mouth player.


This instrumental is ordered by Djadug Ferianto. He wants a song with repeated one verse. Although, stated in oral language, can refer to a person’s name, it can mean although or perhaps the Supreme. Although if you are one who is free to call God by any names. Who knows you are a person who wishes to see God everywhere: in your wife, your children, lovers, butterflies, trees, and nature, maids, masters, in the president, the kidnapped people or perhaps your girlfriend is called Although and you are always trying to reach out to God embodied in her beauty, smile, cry and pinches.

Rudy Wanandar, one of the consultants of this music album, has made me realised that I have a tendency for blues. According to him, the suluk in my puppet show contains much tendency towards blues. Suddenly I remember that in 1996, when I did a coverage on Atlanta Olympic Games, I was more interested in the blues out there than the sport. And I realized that the ten music in this album have a melody pattern that tends towards blues. Hence, the intro of Although is made in this way.

The Frantic Age

I first performed this instrumental music when I was conducting my puppet show at Pupuk Kaltim, Bontang along with several singers (pesinden) from solo in 1996 with gamelan and ukulele as its accompanying music background. It all starts with a desire to compose a melody that can be comfortably performed on public buses and traffic lights. You can perform The Frantic Age with only one ukulele. Since those street music generally contain protest lyrics, I wish to offer a relative protest. It is mentioned in the lyrics that there is no difference between the past age or the next age. It can also mean that the Old Order is just the same as the New Order. When the New Order tumbled in the middle of production process, the producer was quite worried that this song will be losing its current context. I thought it over and the worry should be unfounded. For the next age will in the end ….Thus, I blend rock nuances with various other music tendency.

At A Moment in time

This musical instrumental started from a desire to form some sort of great orchestra with a vocal group commonly found among trendy people in urban society, but with its materials from regional melody. When the melody was completed, the sound of the words selected partly turns out to have close meaning to time. I was reminded that among muscular resources, money resources and other resources, there is still time resources, which are often forgotten. There are also a tendency to interpret ‘let time decides’ as ‘total submission to time’ and not to manage time patiently. I apologize to Dian AGP, a pianist and the best soap opera music arranger 1997 who had to restrain herself.

Pleasant Entanglement

This instrumental music is in the form of a series of sound comprising passages of the words. I wish the same goes with music sentences outside words verse. In that way, guitar pattern is woven together with horn instruments. All stands on a basic pattern of melody at the end of each verse. Development of that basic melody is commonly found in classical tunes of gamelan, such as Landrang Samiran or the latest one Parisuka by the Late Marto Pangrawit.

The Burial Grounds, My Love

This instrumental music in terms of its verses of words, melody outside the other music sentences are not too far from the general pattern of music melody in Java. Therefore, I need other means as in presenting gudeg rice with table manner in urban cities. Perhaps, the deviation lies only in the meaning of those verses of words outside other musical sentences. For instance, the popularly known verse like witing tresno jalaran suko kulino (seeds of love grow out of frequent meeting or in other words from a past). I change them into dino mburi dinane wohing katresnan-witing tresno ketemu ring dino mburi (the root of a love tree is the future, or say the after life, and so is the meeting point of love).

The Sound Of Orang Asyik

This instrumental music is actually the credo of all music in this album. I do not meant to rebuke the pattern of tunes do-re-mi-fa-sol. I am only angry that as time goes by, it is generally understood that the pattern of do-re-mi-fa-sol is the only pattern of tunes existing in the world. I am not putting down the entire stability of philosophy, ideology and other paradigm considered established, in the way pattern of do-re-mi-fa-sol treated to be established. I only with to offer that it is important to disturb the entire establishment. As this is not a philosophy or politic book, I only disturb the pattern of do-re-mi-fa-sol. Let’s hope that the pattern of do-re-mi-fa-sol is able to represent other entire establishment.

A Prayer at Work

This instrumental is the credo of the basic attitude underlying choice of the words in this musical album. Should you listen to sounds of sentences of the words that resemble the sound of the other musical instruments. Through this music, I hope that God gives me the way to remind teachers in primary school and all professors in the universities that apart from having a meaning, words also contain sound. But perhaps it is not entirely the fault of the formal educators that the present generation always demands to know the meaning of song lyrics. When the lyrics belong to languages they don’t understand, they have a tendency to repel them.

The form of meaning of a series of words music is dedicated to all who regard the awareness to pray and an awareness to work are something serial, not something parallel or even simultaneous.

Be Transparent

This instrumental, particularly in its first four tunes of words melody is general pattern of bass commonly found in Banyuwangi folk music. I imagine a roughness wrapped in gentleness based on that general pattern. Hence, the next pattern of melody of words is born, which in my opinion should be performed by a woman, but with other musical color and rhythm which is very male. Therefore, the form of meaning of this series of musical words should contain the same contrast. Words music or commonly termed as lyrics, in this song means protest to all leaders, but it is protest accompanied by annoyance and not spoken with a feeling of anger. With love…love…love…


This instrumental starts with an intention to present a clear and simple atmosphere of the people. I assume that vibraphone is a choice that is not too inaccurate, and so is accordeon. The melody of words music is made to be a repetition that is alike but actually different from each other. People in the politics may refer to them as differences in sound, but we are not going to talk about politics, we are only dealing with entertainment.


This instrumental starts from my admiration towards the musicality of words in Goro-goro (Chaos) narration. Coincidentally, the words selected are those sound that complement the melody of words music, or commonly called a song and they can talk about money. In the beginning of the 80’s I read a column, written by Umar Kayam in Tempo that behind a parents’ concern when bringing up their children lies an expectation to be able to gain material benefit when their children grow up and are successful in future. As the voice of Buta Cakil which is very tenor and the other giants in bariton turn to bass section, I need a more flexible music universe to contain them; and it is blues.

Thank you and welcome to the world of sound

Jakarta, August 13, 1998

H. Sujiwo Tejo