We will experience jazz, electronic, and contemporary music as the underlying genres explored and presented throughout our upcoming concerts. True to the program’s hallmark, Alur Bunyi continues to give musicians and artists ample room for musical exploration. In this haven where boundaries have been lifted, performers are encouraged to come up with novel, authentic artistic expression.
At the same time, the 2021 edition of Alur Bunyi will continue to play with and reflect upon cultural hybridity. Sustaining the tradition begun in 2017, Alur Bunyi sets the stage for musicians and artists from a diversity of backgrounds to showcase their sonic experiments through their musical compositions and works.
Azfansadra Karim, or Adra Karim, is a teacher, composer, music arranger, producer and performer. Born in Jakarta on 27 May 1981, Adra grew up listening to many different music genres, from rock to electronic to jazz.
After finishing law school at Universitas Indonesia in 2006, Adra pursued music and enrolled in the Jazz Organ program of the Artez Academy of Music in Enschede, the Netherlands. He then continued to the Prins Claus Conservatorium (PCC) in Groningen, the Netherlands, and in 2013 completed his studies with undergraduate and graduate degrees with his thesis titled “Aplikasi Kotekan dan Pelog Bali Dalam Komposisi dan Aransemen Jazz” (The Application of Balinese Kotekan and Pelog in Jazz Composition and Arrangement). Throughout his musical career, Adra has performed in major festivals, including the Java Soulnation Festival, Java Jazz Festival, Festival Jazz Indonesia, and We the Fest.
He has also toured several European countries—Italy, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, and Spain with musicians from Europe, the United States, and Africa. With Indonesian musicians, he performed in Asturias, Spain, with the band Her Coat of Arms (2016), took the stage of the Blue Note Jazz Festival and Kanazawa Street Festival with the Tomorrow People Ensemble (2016), and showcased his talent in Japan with the Rafi Muhammad Trio (2017 & 2018). He has also toured Indonesia’s islands with Barasuara.
In 2017 and 2018, supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Adra organized a concert titled “Vinculos for Indonesia” with OCAS, a symphonic orchestra from Asturias, Spain. The project brought the symphonic orchestra to several Indonesian regions (Lake Toba, the Thousand Islands, Ambon, Palu, Parigi, Pekanbaru) without adequate access to information, let alone the opportunity of enjoying a live symphonic orchestra performance.
Offstage, Adra Karim can be found teaching, composing, arranging music for big bands and orchestras, producing, and being a session musician. He is also creating music with Sic Mynded and Zatua and currently working on his solo project. Adra Karim chairs the Music Committee of the Jakarta Arts Council for 2020–2023.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has turned 2020 and 2021 into years of acute uncertainty, for everyone around the globe and from all walks of life. The same is true for the art ecosystem in Indonesia. The direct effects of the pandemic are undeniable, especially as decisions were made to stop live performances for the time being in order to break the chain of transmission.
To survive and to continue making art, artists have been experimenting with new ways of expressing themselves and engaging with their public, true particularly in the performance arts. Many artists have found that online platforms are a viable means of keeping artistic expression alive and sustaining the art ecosystem.
Alur Bunyi, a concert program initiated by Goethe-Institut Indonesien, has had to face the same challenges. It adapted by going virtual in 2020 in order to go forward with the program. It was a major learning curve that informed the program’s design for 2021.
Entering its fourth year, the Alur Bunyi concert series is determined to continue providing space, time, and opportunity for composers, musicians, and music producers to showcase their work to art enthusiasts, who never cease to look for a unique, authentic experience. Having previously staged its concerts primarily for Jakarta audiences, the current online format has augmented the program’s presence by making the series available to a broader audience around the archipelago.
The series of concerts in 2021 brings to life musical and sonic creations that are molded together with a variety of artistic disciplines, explored, and performed through technology-enabled media as music performances that are ever-evolving. As artists dive into Indonesia’s rich tradition, some works will reveal a marriage between the contemporary and the traditional.
Championing the exploration of sounds as it always has, this year’s Alur Bunyi gives the stage to electronic and jazz musicians, whose numbers and the quality of their music has been growing exponentially. While these musical streams are unique in their concept and approach, their convergence will be exciting to witness.
The artists may come from different backgrounds and disciplines, and yet these comprise the main ingredients for arriving at the same language and vision for a performance. Devoid of musical categorization, they find themselves in a universe of possibilities that can spark novel ideas.
By allowing artists the freedom to question, probe and search, Alur Bunyi is a haven for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and technical know-how in art creation, especially in music and sonic arts. This is the kind of space that will enable Indonesia’s art ecosystem to flourish and endure.