I love music so much that at one point I think I wanted to become an artist. (Don't you?) Well, yesterday I dug in some old photographs related to music. So here they are.
The first one is this very old picture taken in 1980. This is me with my drum kit in my bedroom. You could see the bunk bed in the back. My room was not sound-proofed. Of course it was loud. I don't know how our neighbour could stand us (me). Ha ha ha.
I was skinny by then and had lots of black and curly hair. Now they are thin and dominated by grey hairs. Look at that T-shirt that says "We Believe in ROCK N' ROLL". Nice.
I did take a formal drum lesson in a music school, taught by a rock drummer. So, I knew drum partitur at one point. It didn't last long though, because I was so bored with many things at that time. I just jamming around with friends and family, renting studio basically, playing Beatles songs. I pushed them to play Styx ("Suite Madam Blue" anybody?) or Rush ("Subdivision"), but mostly we played Beatles or Rolling Stones. I didn't make any gig or whatsoever. Oh I did. It was part of school vocal group. I did played drum in their song competition. Now, I could not play drum. I lost it. Really. I am clumsy now. (Maybe I was not a good drummer to begin with.)
Then this one. This was taken somewhere between 1981 to 1983. I was at the university and this was our band performing in one of celebration nights (organized by EE student body). At that time I preferred to play guitar.
I didn't have a formal training in guitar. So, I could not read musical notes! I learned guitar playing from friends and family. In high school I managed to learn something from a very good classical guitar player. He won competition in Indonesia and even regional (South East Asia?). He taught a bunch of us to play classical guitar.
Anyway, that was the starting point of playing band on campus. There were more to come, but music was just for fun. Mostly we were busy studying to get our EE degree. But, when we do have a chance to play in a gig, we play.
So here we were playing again. Left to right in the back: Iriawan (keyboard), Imam Pras (keyboard), Hammam Riza (drums). This time it was around 84 or 85, because we asked Imam Prass to play with us. He was (and still is) a great keyboard player. He is actually a jazz player, but we asked him to play rock (like Genesis, Rush, and Marillion)! Ha ha ha. He was so humble that he agreed to play. We need him for complex keyboard chops like those in Genesis or Marillion. Nowadays you can find him playing in many gigs (hotels, caffees, recording studios) playing all kind of music. People know him as a great piano and keyboard player. I have not seen him for quite a while. I wouldn't mind watching him playing with his jazz band. I heard it is great.
During that campus-gig year I also acted as a singer in the band. It was not because I have a great voice. It was just nobody wanted to do it. Everybody was shy. At earlier gig (maybe in 81?) my other band had a gig and the singer was so scared that he could not sing! So, I took over. Ha ha ha.
So this is a picture of me singing in the band. I forgot what song I sang at that time. Probably one of Genesis, Rush, or Marillion songs, because that what we did. Actually, we did Toto's "Hold The Line" in another gig. I remembered that because I could not do Steve Lukather's solo lick (who could?) so I made it simpler. Ha ha ha. I still could not do fast guitar licks. That is why I love guitarists with simple but melodic style, such as Roine Stolt (of the Flower Kings) or Rothery (of Marillion). I still love singing, but with "wierd" songs - I mean progressive rock kind of songs. So, when somebody ask me to sing - like in a karaoke - I refuse, because they probably don't know the song that I am going to sing and they would not enjoy it. I could not sing "regular pop songs". ha ha ha.
The gig continues... I don't know when this was taken, but I think it was also around 1984-1986. Again we were playing on campus. This time Iriawan played guitar. I think we played Genesis' "Home By The Sea". The rest of the band was not shown. There were a lot more photographs for this gig. But, you'll get bored with them if I put them all here.
After graduated from ITB, I moved to Canada and was too busy getting my MSc and PhD degrees. I did have a wonderful time in Canada because that was the time that I had access to computer music labs. I was into computer music (MIDI, synthesizers and stuff). I took a computer music class, played with Yamaha (DX 7, DX ... ) synthesizers, Korg, Kurzweil's synthesizer/piano, and other gadgets. I also learned to play more electric guitar techniques from James. That was also the time when I started writing my songs.
Then came back to Indonesia sometime at the end of 1997. I was too busy with my life and didn't have anything to do with music. But, I still love music. So, in 2004 when we had a National Internet Conference Education (NICE) in Jakarta, I played again. This time I took the deliberty of playing the keyboard. It was not great since we didn't practice at all. We just jumped into the stage and play!!! Whoa!
Garin (on guitar), Andika (far right, bass), Bowo (on drum was not shown). We were just goofing off. You know, we should practice for the next gig. If there's going to be another NICE - which I think is going to be held this year or next year.
In the mean time, now I am looking at doing business in music as well, selling digital music. At the same time, helping people who like music (like I do) who don't have access to market, studio, and even a little shy to perform their music. Wish me luck on this.
So that is my musical timeline.