Aku terperangkap dalam pelukan
So goes the song Cinta Pertama. I have always loved this song in the 70s. It was sung by an Indonesian girl group The Twins. And a couple of years ago, I was searching for this song in Jakarta; without knowing its title and the singer, it was hopeless. I thought that the name of the song was Dua Insan as that is the opening phrase of the song. I could not find it, though I did my best trying to humm this song to the sales girls there. The song was much older than them, I guess, for them to know it.
What I also didn't know is that this song was written by Bapak Idris Sardi, Indonesia's foremost violin player. To listen to Cinta Pertama (instrumental), click here.
I have the privilege to attend his concert at Istana Budaya last night, and he enthralled me with his skills. He is that good, even at 70. While he had won many awards and honoured in many ways, he was so humble. At the end of each song, while getting thunderous applause of appreciation from the crowd, he was pointing upward towards the sky, indicating that his skill is a gift from God, and that all the adulation should be given to Him and Him alone.
In last night performance, at times, the National Symphony Orchestra was simply too overwhelming. Even at times I feel the backup singers, Enam Dara, was not necessary. At times of course. Otherwise both did a good job. As always.
I would give him the thumb-up for Mawar Berduri, Dealova, Layu Sebelum Berkembang, Widuri and a host of PRamlee's songs. But I was eagerly waiting for Cinta Pertama. He didn't disappoint me.
It was not until at 10 pm (it was a no break concert) when he started to speak after performing practically non-stop. He starts learning violin at the age of 6. It was purely classical for him. If he learned the jazz, it would be pure jazz. He would wake up at 5 am to practise and there would always be a cane if he didn't or if he didn't do well in his practice.
Apparently he had been in Malaya performing in 1960 with a bunch of household names Indonesian singers. Bing Slamet (Nurlela, Serunai Malam), Sam Saimun (DiWajahmu Kulihat Bulan - the song I would melt for; and how I wish Arif would learn to play this song soon on the violin), (Titiek Puspa - she was young then (remaja was his word), and so sexy, according to Idris). They were here for a month going from state to state, even Terengganu.
According to Mak she has seen them performed, but didn't remember Idris Sardi. I am sure he was backing up the singers then.
All in all, he performed only 3 of his original songs while he had written about 800 songs. In fact he performed more PRamlee' songs to ensure the audience would have a good time. For the record Mohram (Mohar on flute and Ramlee on percussion) also took centre stage performing. I ho they will stick to their forte and be extremely good at it.
I do hope his tale would inspire Arif and Akmal to work as hard. He would not be where he is without hard work on his part, despite the talent that he has. One should be single minded pursuing one's purpose in life.
We met with Cikgu Hizam and Cikgu Faridah at Istana Budaya. Both of them were the Hariri's teacher with Cikgu Faridah being my Standard 3 teacher in 1972 in Lenggong. I have written about her for last year's teachers' day celebration. Read it here.
Isn't it easy to just address someone as merely Pak Idris Sardi or as the host that night addressed him, Mas Idris. No Tun, no Tan Sri. No big head!