Sunday, December 13, 2009

If not for the splendour of Tunggu Sekejap...

the whole Irama Warisan Kita Concert at the Philharmonic would have been a huge disappointment.

I am not sure if it was the arrangement, or if the selection of songs was at fault, or may be both factors came into play, but somehow the concert that I have been looking forward for more than a month seems dull and unexciting.

Nevermind if Datuk Johari Salleh was at the baton. By virtue of him conducting, I was expecting much more. Him having helmed Orkestra RTM in the 80s - ok ok, it was nothing much compared to the MPO, but it was the only orchestra that we have then, and having produced suc classic albums for SM Salim, we were looking for a touch of his genius but it deserted him last night.

But I love Tunggu Sekejap, especially when the strings sections took over for the final part. It was beautiful and better than what I heard at the MPYO a year ago and certainly an arrangement that P Ramlee would be proud of.

I have high expectation and I was pleasantly surprised and it left me satisfied in the end.

On the other hand, I was lamenting initially on the selection of Getaran Jiwa. I thought it had been played to death by too many artists and I was not expecting much from last night, but The MPO did a wonderful job here. I was bought over by the beauty of this song and the beautiful arrangement and the great orchestra played it well.

Much more than that, it showcassed why this song is such a masterpiece.

But Hijau was a huge disappointment, so was Joget Kenangan Manis. I simply thought these songs could not withstand the full orchestral arrangements, and were obviously missing traditional instruments that made the songs as we had known it.

In general though, Aisyah and Lah Ahmad did a good job albeit the mis-selection of the above two songs.

Arif said he loves the Overture, but weren't sure of the others. I was looking for familiar tunes but I could not find any so I thought it was bad. It was after all a Sabah Overtures. Not that I have anything against Sabah, but I am missing a point here. Are we so lacking in other signature songs that could have been turned to an overture?

All in all, I think they were simply missing the traditional instrument when playing Sri Mersing and other traditional songs. On that basis alone, I thought the SM Salim concert from about 8 years ago were many cuts above this one.

That was Mak's opinion anyway.

But I do love Mega Mendung. It was a wonderful piece when the violins and the cello were lamenting about the sky. I thought Warisan should not have been selected, and I thought poorly of the selection of Pandang Pandang Jeling Jeling. It has a weak melody and would not withstand some other traditional piece that Johari Salleh had produced in the past.

Don't get me wrong. The MPO in general is much better than any orchestra in the country.

But the arrangement left much to be desired. Surely in their zest to give these songs classical feel, some of them were torn apart at the seam and did not resemble the original masterpiece. Part of Tunggu Sekejap did feel that way - for a moment I thought I was in Vienna listening to Bach, but not all songs can withstand such scrutiny and hence many sound like broken pieces.

More pure traditional classics such have been selected. In other words, no need for pop musics as had been showcased here. Go back to our roots please.

Anyway, this is just an opinion of an amateur listener and probably did not count much in the greater scheme of things.

Yes, in the greater scheme of things, last night was a wonderful concert that alleviated our music to greater heights.


1. If you wish to see some pictures of the night, please visit Akmal Hariri's Fotopages here.

2. Oh I think the security at the MPO during the meet the artist session was a tad too strict and for no apparent reason too. I was just trying to encourage Akmal to take pictures for his learning process, and not so much because there is a need for us to take pics with Aishah (whose wedding I have attended in the early 90s, and who I would normally meet at kenduri or wedding since she is related to bapak's side of the family) or Johari Salleh (yeah I like Kehilangan sung by Yasmin Yusuf and Duniaku, a song about blindness or songs he composed and arranged for SM Salim), but all three of them are not the latest things in our local showbiz that would warrant such security measures.

3. I am not sure why they would need to have hosts in Awal Ashaari and Deborah Henry. It serves no purpose and only delay the show as they would need to strut across the podium. (Read: Deborah need to strut herself on stage to the eyeing audience - It is candy to many eyes, but totally unnecessary!) If there is a need to have hosts, give them a small corner so that they would not have to walk across just to have a quick one para dcription of the next song.

Sure I don't mind a pretty face but I was there to enjoy the beautiful music and could not care less about a beautiful face.

4. Here was my take on another Tunggu Sekejap repertoire.


  1. Show Jumaat malam diselamatkan oleh Aishah & Lah. I tak really kenal Lah, tapi vokal dia power. Aishah tak perlu komenlah, dah memang power. MPO is superb, tapi, yes, alat muzik tradisional tak ada.
    Awalluddin bagus, tapi, Deborah tu, nak sebut Minyak pun tak reti ke(Sumpah Orang miyak jadinya)

    Kan i dah kata, tak berapa menarik.....kecuali Anita Sarawak and hubby Mahathir yang menarik minat ank2 i untuk bergambar sama, ond yes, mmg mrk sporting!!

  2. wah...u brought an entourage!
    i always admire aishah, a big girl with a big voice, she sings so effortlessly...some of my favorites are janji manis mu & bahtera merdeka.
    memang tak ada yang boleh challenge dia.


  3. Aboy,

    In the end, despite my negative comments (I don't want to do review ala our newspapers - that everything was excellent and perfect). I would let them know what I think of it, be it good or bad and hope that they would have a good manager like Kathy's (who would respond to my criticism of her 25th anniversary concert), and despite everything else, I had enjoyed the music and the excellent orchestra.

    As I have written, if they had played only Tunggu Sekejap that night, I would paid the entrance fee nonetheless.


    Well, she sang Bahtera Merdeka that night. You should have attended it, but then again she only sang two songs. If you are a fan, it would leave you feeling exasperated.

    Didn't plan it that way, but in the end it was a family outing and a night to enjoy each others company.

  4. Saya nak komen awal sket..
    sebab kami dok depan jadi kami nampak and ketawa sama-sama tengok awal shaking satu badan sebab gemuruh..
    mula-mula tangan dia yg pegang note tu bergetar,tak lama kemudian..lutut-lutut and satu body bergetaq sampai ape yg die cakapkan pun kitorg dah tak dengar..
    dok menengok die shaking je satu badan..mmg best!! hahahahaha!!

  5. Aah well, Awal shaking nk buat apa, if Deborah tak per lah jugak nakl perati ;-) But I guess that's from your perspective. I thought I would be a better judge of what you saw as I sat at the same row but more in the middle than you. But I guess I have no reason to be watching him anyway.

    Actually I am not surprised. I would not categorized him as a season presenter (in fact I am wondering who the hell he is?). You are certainly right about him shaking etc. I didnt notice; I just want him to get out of the way and for the music to resume!

    Kacau daun lah the two of them.

    I remember my first ever presentation out side Malaysia, after I left Petronas. WEnt to Jakarta and present a one-day perspective on engineering software to senior Pertamina management. Yes, I had butterfly in my stomach and I can hear the vibration in my voice. Suara begetar and I can hear and feel it myself! Mmg nervous giler - first time out of my cocoon and working with people instead of steel and matter.

    Dulu asyik depan computer and masuk dalam kilang - jarang nk depan org.

    But after a year, I got used to it and would not bat an eye lid to go and give a talk. This kind of thing takes time and got to do a lot of practice.

    At least, you have enjoyed the night albeit in a different way!