Honoured by The Jakarta Post

In today’s edition of The Jakarta Post, which is their last edition of this year, they publish “Farewell 2017, Ringing in the New Year”

which is interviews with –who they consider– the most important figures of 2017. In the arts & culture, I am deeply honoured to be one of them, together with such prominent –and cool– people: the pop singer Raisa, the bestseller author Intan Paramaditha, movie star Ario Bayu, designer Tex Saverio, contemporary artist FX Harsono, filmmaker Edwin and the most translated, and perhaps the most literary awards receiver, Indonesian author Eka Kurniawan. The Jakarta Post sent me their questions a few days ago, and these are my original answers.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ++ This year, 2017, what are the most important accomplishments that you made, both professionally and personally? John Lennon said that “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”. I was commissioned by several institutions, rejected some due to time constraints and/or my disinterest with the subject, and accepted others, and I was quite happy with the works I wrote for those commissions I accepted. I felt I have contributed my grain of sand to the repertory of classical music. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Personally? My daughter entered the university, the faculty she has had the passion for a long time: mathematics. So she’s happy, and I’m happy. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ++ As a musician is 2017 a happy year for you? Why? Please elaborate………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… It’s quite an inspirational and fertile year for me, in terms of creativity. I met many inspirational new people and new friends. It’s elaborated in the previous question, right? ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ++ Is there any bad, or even worst, moment for you this year? Any wish that did not yet materialize?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Certainly it’s that notorious event in November of my walkout during the Jakarta governor’s speech, and my own speech afterwards. That wasn’t the worst moment; it’s the days following it, when it was politicized, twisted and slandered. I spent the next 4 days trying to protect my almamater from being attacked, by giving interviews where I told the truth, but not all the truth. I still wish, now that things have calmed down, to do a “tell all” interview of what really happened. Having said that, I would like to reitarerate that I don’t feel sorry, nor regret for what I did. I did what I thought, and still think, is correct. I regret what happened afterwards and what some people did to it to satisfy their needs. What is good for me is that thanks to this incident, I discovered who my real friends are, and who stabbed me from the back. It was painful, but necessary.………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ++ What’s your biggest plan for 2018, professionally and personally? Maybe new project, travel plan or else?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… I have long wished to write an opera that would describe the way an Aspie (a bearer of Asperger’s Syndrome) think and feel. It doesn’t have to be about an Aspie, but I would like it to have multilayered, juxtaposed emotions. It’s difficult to describe it in words, of course. For now, I am looking for materials or stories, containing at least two persons of different characters, and I would like to mix them up. It could be surrealistic for some listeners, for example someone who is in love but full of anger with the person (s)he’s in love with, etc. Perhaps the best way to describe it is the last scene of Godfather III, where Michael Corleone’s daughter was shot and died in her father’s arms: a violent scene, but the music is that exquisite melody of Cavalleria Rusticana. Basically it’s to reveal to the listeners that we do have hidden emotions that we never experience, if not triggered by music. And I think only an Aspie can produce that kind of music. I am giving myself the deadline of the end of next year, since without the (self-imposed) deadline, I wouldn’t finish it. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… What is not planned by me nor my manager is the many celebrations by various institutions on my 50th birthday, for which I am very grateful. Mostly they are music schools or academies where their students study and perform my music for their instruments. I am deeply humbled. As my own 2018 goal, it is to accomplish the goals of 2017 that I should’ve done in 2016 coz I promised in 2015 to fulfil the resolution of 2014!

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