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"Kemben" - The Exotic Indonesian Piano Composition
THE EXOTIC INDONESIAN PIANO COMPOSITION
by: Michael Gunadi Widjaja
Kemben becomes the central theme of this composition.
In other words,
it is about the sensuality of woman.
The sensual part, but always
As a matter of composition, this composition develops an
affection of women sexual charm.
The composition consists of three parts:
• Keroncong romance
• Dangdut hot
The opening used the pentatonic. The concept is a “Manunggaling
Kawula Gusti” or “Mandala” - from a small universe evolved into a more
complex conception of the valuable (adiluhung). Theme of primo 1 is
repeated with varied rhythmic, that enriched by secondo 1, primo 2, and
secondo 2. Octave parallels are intended to give the impression of a
theatrical, that: this is a veil of life - women, with their charm of
The second part - Keroncong Romance, is about the nature of women.
Timid creatures, spoiled, soft, and gentle. The impression is woman who
wears kemben, walking apace, squinting eyes, a faint smile, and her hair
is slightly damp.
The third part - Hot Dang Dut, describes woman as timid creatures,
spoiled, soft, smooth, but in the sublime way it can be wild in lust and
sexual dreams. That is why in this section is used a "deconstructive"
landscape. Because when she is in lust and wild sexually, there’s no
more norm, no more rules - only a single and static harmony to indicate a
state of "trance" in crisis lust.
In Javanese tradition music
composition, there’s typical this kind of harmony in DOLALAK of
Banyumas, Sintren of Tegal, and Jathilan of Solo. Impressions in this
section are: woman with kemben, seated, with her hands holding the hair,
exposing a hairy armpit as a reflection of the wild lust. Then the
women were swaying in a trance state, covered with fragrant sandalwood,
while the kemben sags.