Interesting comments from some of the amazing musicians who practised down the lane behind Warung Timlo Maestro in 2006
P. 23 years: I grew up with keroncong. Gesang was my grandfather, my mother used to sing and my father played. There were lots of instruments around to learn on. I started with guitar, because it’s easy to play. I like old songs and new adaptations of modern songs: Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ sounds really good played keroncong style. This group wants to preserve keroncong because it’s our local music and heritage.
G. youngest player: I played bass guitar in a band and started learning keroncong three years ago. I like it because it’s traditional. I’m also in another keroncong group that won a competition against musicians who had played for twenty years. We were fortunate because we had only been together for two years.
Senior violin player: I taught myself to play when I was at primary school. I’ve been helping these young students for two years. They could play other music but not keroncong because they didn’t understand its special characteristics. The spirit of keroncong is the essence of the culture of Solo.
Senior flute player: I like keroncong and don’t play any other music. I played all the instruments when I was young and learned flute more than twenty years ago. It used to be easy to work every night but now it is difficult to earn a living because keroncong is not popular. People prefer to use recordings at ceremonies and celebrations.
K. 29 years: I play gamelan and campur sari and taught myself to play the ukulele by watching others. I’ve been with these musicians for three years but also play with other groups. I like the sound and rhythm of keroncong.
Young female vocalist: I love singing and learn songs by listening to cassettes. I haven’t yet performed in public.
Male vocalist, 30 years: I don’t have a musical background. I’m self taught and sing Langgam Java because it’s part of Javanese culture and suits my personality. I work at weddings for my own entertainment, not to earn a livelihood. That would be too stressful. I come here often because I like the family atmosphere.
Slamet Subagio: I wanted to give the students with the opportunity to improve and to play regularly. I didn’t want them to continue as street musicians. We hoped to provide positive activities in a good community.
© keronconginsolo 2014
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