As time goes by, more and more activities will inevitablely pass on to this section, which is not quite free from some nostalgia. However, this doesn't necessarily mean they will all be buried for good. A number of the projects mentioned might now and then rear it's head or grind it's teeth! Additions to this section include Angklung Santosa, Awàs! and Santoso Sings, who all formerly had their own section on this site.
Santoso Sings - Indonesian folksongs in classical bel canto style.
Angklung Santosa - angklung world music group.
Awàs! - gamelan prog. rock.
Aorta - subliminal improvisation ensemble.
Immortal Fit - prog soul fusion.
The Santoso Sings project is really mùch more than just another record of Eurasian-minded tempo doeloe songs. It fills in several lacunes left by the vast majority of Indonesian artists. First of all, some almost forgotten but hauntingly beautifull songs were dug up and saved for us. Songs that originate in and reflect perfectly the turbulent times in Indonesia from about 1930 - 1970.
The repertory is sung in western classical bel canto style to better convey the emotions and content to the non-Indonesian audience. Interpreted by an artist who, even from the early stages of Indonesian upcoming nationalism, was an example of east meets west, eclectic and talented. Who traveled and worked in the world and thus became a true embassador and spokesman for the arts and culture of Indonesia.
After studying western classical singing in Italy and Germany, Adi Santoso (1928) embarked on a quest, not only to infuse Indonesian 'Lagu Rakyat' or Indonesian folk songs with the power and drama of classical vocalia, but to give expression to some of the beautiful songs which were composed at the time by Indonesian composers who had studied in the western tradition. By his efforts, he became 'The Voice' of Indonesian community in the Netherlands and indeed, in the whole of Europe.
Almost no live performances were recorded. In 2003 he embarked on a project to record a programm of songs, to be called 'Santoso Sings' in which the period and the history of his life time would be expressed in song. Together with his son Renadi on classical guitar, he recorded a short demo at home with a 8-track harddisk recorder. A mini-CD was produced as a demo.
Fate struck, or better say cancer struck, and left the project on it's back for the next years. In 2006 it was felt that Adi was well enough to resume recording in full force and they produced the long awaited CD 'Santoso Sings Classical Indonesian Songs', fully annotated with song info , historic photography and spicy anecdotes. It's there on the CD's page. Here are some soundfiles:
The gentle sound of the bamboo rattle has enchanted the Dutch audience since they became aware of it's charm and simplicity. And no small roll was played by Adi Santoso, who was one of the first to introduce in a systematic way the simple but effective sound of the shakin' bamboo to the Dutch audience, starting in the late sixties.
Giving lectures and workshops throughout the Netherlands, with a longtime affiliation with the Indonesian Embassy at The Hague where he conducted the Dharma Wanita group, his name became synonymous with angklungmusic.
Well into the seventies, after seeing Pak Udjo and his family playing, he bought one of their 'arumba' instruments: a xylophone made of bamboo to accompany the melodic angklung. This was the birth of the very first small scale angklung ensemble of the Netherlands. Adi took on himself not only to sing lead, but also to play the melody-angklung solo, hanging the individual instruments upon a painted laundry horse. His daughter Romanita explored the arumba, acquiring the neccessary skills all by herself up to the three-mallet chord technique. Meanwhile his son Renadi tuned in with his double-neck electric guitar/fretless bassguitar, laying a solid foundation to the twinkly sound of the bamboo.
Thus, all the conditions were there to play the angklung in a more professional way. And although the repertory was traditional and straitforward enough, all the arrangements were made from scratch, thus securing a very personalized sound. At one point, they build themselves a bass angklung, using a load of bamboo meant for furniture building. Thus, Renadi was able to abandon the electric bass and Angklung Santosa became really a 'bamboo ensemble'.
Working at 'Indische gelegenheden' (a.o. Pasar Malam Tong Tong, Indisch Monument), homes for the elderly and other venues were the 'tempo doeloe'-atmosphere was in demand, they soon became a household name for angklung lovers. About the last ten years or so, they played as a duo. When Romanita left, Renadi took on the arumba. They expanded their repertory, but used less vocals.
Never have their live performances been recorded. To fill this gap, in 2002/3, on officially disbanding themselves, they recorded a set of songs and instrumentals at home with a 8-track harddisk recorder. Renadi used his vast skills on a hoard of instruments (note the fake 'bandmembers' mentioned in the sleeve!) to produce a group-sound that never was, nor in all probability ever will be. A sound that went further than just escheweing the nostalgic or even their own years-tested style and really pushed 'angklung' into the realm of 'Worldmusic', music that crosses boundaries. A CD was produced, entitled 'Bamboo Songs'. A few of these tracks you can now listen to on this site. If you like to have the CD, see for details on the CD's page.
Awas! is the name given to music compositions, dance choreographies, performances and recordings by Renadi himself which involve the blending of Indonesian with contemporary/prog.rock elements. In some rare cases, other artists were commissioned to participate. In many cases, the works were never issued or performed only once.
This page is intended to give you the opportunity to get in touch with some of the more obscure musics by Renadi. In some cases, only rough home-recordings exist. Some of these musics will require an acquired taste. The songlist in this page will vary from time to time.
Some musicians who were involved: Mark van Kempen (live and recordings), Caluke van Hoften, Bert Berenschot, Niels Walen and Jeroen Sep (all live only). The live band existed for about one year, in 1996. The studio CD is on the CD's page.
For those who are open to the sound and the power of rock instruments, the musical idioms of contemporary classical music and the freedom, fluidity and sense for the unexpected of improvised musics, we have Aorta.
Aorta was a duo with Mark van Kempen. From the first class of Dalton highschool in The Hague in 1977, they played together, improvising all the way. Mark soon became the drummer, Renadi the guitarist. When Renadi left for Amsterdam to study at the Sweelinck Conservatory in 1986, playingsessions became rarer. However they continued to play in The Hague, later in Amsterdam, sharpening their ears, skills and psychological sensitivity.
They became musicians with a mission: sharp-tight impovising should be able to equal or maybe surpass the best in composed musics in terms of energy, fluidity, structured expression, meaningfulness, content and so on. They really tried to set a new standard for 'improvised composing'.
By then, they had acquired an almost subliminal degree of improvisational coöperation. They called the band Aorta, indicating that they strove for music that expressed qualities of life that were as essential for the soul as blood is for the body. Nutrition, new impulses, but also khatarsis and expulsing of matter and forms that block the lifeforces.
Eclectic and uncompromising in their methods, choices and decisions, their efforts remained indoors only and less frequent, before Aorta was in-activated around 1999/2000. Yet all their sessions were diligently recorded. In 2005, Mark took up the herculean task to edit the immense amount of soundmaterial and release the best on the private OMA records label. In 2008, more material will be forthcoming.
Immortal Fit was a prog/soul/fusion band that came out of the Dutch Xperience, a band formed in 1993 by guitarist Mowah Yong, who also wrote all the songs. Also in DX were Steven Clemens (drums), Aron van der Ploeg (keyboards), Renadi (bass) and Akkemay Elderenbos (lead vocals).
The latter had made some big screen impression (f.i. 'Schatjes') and her soaring, soulful voice was really at the heart of the groupsound. They made a loose recording of their current repertory at the AMP studios in Amsterdam.
After Mowah left for China, guitarist Jeroen Sep from Satisfactory was enlisted in 1994. Most of the songs from Mowah were dropped and fresh new ones were adopted. But also this line-up wasn't to be. Aron left to concentrate on drumming with Satisfactory. This left a temporary gap, which was filled eventually by Akkemay, taking up the piano.
This heralded a new creative era for the group with lots of fresh songs written by Akkemay, Jeroen and Renadi. This line-up, consisting of four people, made only one public appearance, but happily enough also a bunch of recordings, before finally splitting up in 1996.
Future additions to this section: Alsofdanbijdegeenen, Baby Cosmos.