International conference on Sundanese culture opens

22 December, 2011 Entertainment

[The Jakarta Post]: Deputy Minister of Education and Culture Windu Nuryanti opened the second International Conference of Sundanese Culture in the Merdeka building in Bandung, West Java, on Monday.

At least 80 papers, including six from foreigners with expertise in Sundanese culture, will be presented during the four-day conference, which will be attended by about 400 participants.

The first conference 10 years ago saw the presentation of 68 papers, including 15 from abroad.

Windu said at the opening of the event that the region had a rich culture containing local wisdom.

“Culture should become the focus of development in every sector,” quoted her as saying.

Indonesian Movie “Di Bawah Lindungan Kabah” Enters the Race for Oscar

[The Jakarta Globe]: A movie by director Hanny R. Saputra, Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah (Under Protection of the Kaaba) is one of the entries to compete in the race for the 2011 Foreign Language film oscar, the Academy for Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced Thursday.

Films from 63 countries have entered the race. The applicants included a first–ever entry in the competition from New Zealand as well as entries from 62 other countries from Albania to Vietnam.

A special Academy committee will choose five nominees on Jan. 24, 2012, and the winner of the Oscar will be announced at the 84th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 26.

Di Bawah Lindungan Ka’bah is the most expensive Indonesian movie ever made. Filmed on a budget of US$3 million (S$3.77 million), almost six times the average cost of a movie made in the country, the movie tells the tragic tale of a young couple who fall in love only to be separated by class difference.

Indonesian Actor to Star in HBO Asia’s First Film

[The Jakarta Globe]: HBO Asia has teamed up with Infinite Studios to produce its first ever feature film in Asia shot entirely in Indonesia featuring Indonesian actor Ario Bayu.

The English-language action-horror film, Dead Mine, is being shot entirely in Batam, Indonesia, in Infinite Studios’s new 30,000 square foot facility. Filming began on Monday.

The CEO of Infinite Studios, Mike Wiluan proudly described it as a unique co-production showcasing a cast of international and regional actors and creative and technical talent.

“The project will help contribute to the growth of our industry in Southeast Asia,” Mike said in a news release.

“HBO Asia is very excited to be working with Infinite Studios on our very first original feature film co-production. This is truly a landmark announcement and is another important milestone for HBO Asia,” said Jonathan Spink, Chief Executive Officer of HBO Asia.

Indonesian audiences will be able to see the horror flick in theaters next year followed by television premiers on the HBO Asia network.

Sierra Deserves It!

Her lovely appearance assuredly attracts the public eyes’ attention. Though, Sierra Soetedjo also has bright quality of voice and excellent portfolio that deserve recognition. This friendly lady surely brings a special nuance to the Indonesia’s jazz field. Yes, Sierra is really something!

The Prelude

It was such a precious moment when given a great opportunity to meet up and talk to Sierra Soetedjo, a new young and gifted singer of jazz. Taking place at Bluegrass Bar & Grill, she’s sitting at an outdoor with her glam yet stylish look, and excitedly receiving the team’s turn-out.

Sierra is actually not that new at all, as she’s been already taking part in several music moments. The huge passion in music then propelled her to take Bachelor Degree of Music, in Jazz Performance, at Edith Cowan University, Australia. It’s no wonder why she always comes up with her ace quality of performance in every stage show, where her musical knowledge has been formed well in university. Besides, this Jakarta born lady admits, she’s initially in love with music since childhood. “From that moment I became more realized that music is my energy!” She recalls.

Having graduated from the university in 2007, Sierra decided to get back in Indonesia a year later for good. However, her affection in music was still poured through many local’s off-air events. Until in 2009, she was called by someone from a production house that asked her willingness to make a buzz at the Java Jazz Festival! “I was totally amazed and honored given a chance to highlight the festival. It’s Java Jazz and it’s not an ordinary music event but exceptional!” Sierra says enthusiastically.

The jazz moment itself seemed become a golden first step that bridge her to be able to collaborate with some of great jazz musicians like Idang Rasjidi, Ireng Maulana, and Bubi Chen. In 2008, Sierra’s sweet voice even captivated Tompi, and she was trusted to play an important role thereafter on a duet project in a song called ‘Love Letter’. Afterwards, this Cancer Lady expanded her music skill by having a shot at numerous local jazz galas like Jak Jazz 2008, Jimbaran Jazz Semarang 2009, New Friday Jazz Night 2010, Jazz Seduction with Balawan, Ngayogjazz 2011 in Yogyakarta, Jazz Traffic Festival in Surabaya and also had splendid performance with KLa Project. All the great experiences finally drove her to cook up an album titled The Only One. “Taking on genre of jazz, I mostly include the sense of bossanova here. All is recycled songs, but this is such a very easy listening album which is worth to listen,” She tells with smile.

When it comes to singing and making the music, Sierra acknowledges that some of international names have enlightened her vocal character. “I’ve learnt a lot from brilliant musicians like Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Krall, Esperanza Spalding, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, and Beyonce Knowles. While, in order to shape up my stage action, Michael Bublé becomes my inspiration,” She explains.

In love with Jazz

The story of her flare-up in jazz actually was begun during in college. As she loved every kind of music including R&B beforehand, Sierra started delight with the genre due to the academic reason. “It was a like a university’s path where I must pick one type of music which I love the most. For some reason, I chose jazz then, and evidently I was in love with that!” For Sierra, jazz is such a genre that gives her freedom of expression. This fashionable lady also adds, this music burst her into creativeness by the time she comes up with the melody-improvisation. Undoubtedly, Sierra is sure that this music branch is her comfort zone presently.

Her devotion to Jazz is not only spilled through an album, but also in several music shows. Luckily, a fortune-goddess brought her to come together on stage with a veteran Indonesian pianist, Bubi Chen. Considering that he’s kind of a great yet expert musician, Bubi is surely craving for working with those who have brilliant music skill in jazz, and he doesn’t mind to opt for Sierra. “Playacting together with Bubi Chen is somehow really fantastic; therefore, I always try to give my best skill.” Apparently, Sierra’s distinctive vocal character calls up Bubi Chen to give a special nickname according to her exceptional scatting skill. “He dubbed me as a scatting song bird. There’s nothing I can feel but honored!” Sierra says passionately.

Hence, it’s reasonably why Sierra includes the sense of bossanova, latin, and a little touch of pop in her first album. More than just her frenzy to the catchy yet sweet beat, she assumes, the rhythms are quite simple to understand as well as easy to listen up. “So, I really hope that my first album would get positive response from the jazz buffs,” This Michael Bublé’s big fan says.

When the fashion meets business

Aside from her passion in music, Sierra also has big fascination in fashion. One of the world’s fashion icons, Victoria Beckham, really inspires her glamorous look. For Sierra, Victoria has exceptional sense of style that’s able to actualize. “Even if she comes out with simple outfit, her performance is always elegant, sophisticated, and dazzling! She’s one of my role model in fashion!”

In it, this charming lady loves to emphasize her feminine side in order to flaunt her charisma. After all, Sierra acknowledges, she’s been really into fashion even before she came into entertainment spotlight as now. “I’ve never intended to wear random outfit. For me, a woman should be able to act out neatly and attractive.”

When she’s not singing or updating her fashion style, Sierra spends her spare time with mates at her own restaurant which was recently just released. Together with some of good friends, Sierra whips out The Bluegrass: Bar and Grill, a pleasing bar which combines American and Indonesian style in between. “I love any kind of foods either from international or local. So, that’s the reason why I forge this one.” With the unique concept, sumptuous design, and cozy ambience, Sierra believes that Bluegrass: Bar & Grill is such a right place for those who want to get relaxed, or even just craving for meeting up with friends while enjoying its signature delicious food and beverages.

Consequently, Sierra is a right picture of a lady with million talents. She really knows how to realize her goals and dream. She sings gracefully, sweet on fashion, and gets into the business world. A very complete one! All in all, Sierra is more than just ‘something’; she also gives a new hope, new atmosphere, and new color, particularly to the Indonesia’s jazz matters.


Writer: Rizka Azizah (Chika)
Photographer: Omar Arif Maulana

Photo-shoot location: Bluegrass Bar & Grill
Wardrobe: Sierra’s private collection
Stylist: Rizka Azizah (Chika)

Anggun to hold concert in Jakarta

[The Jakarta Post]: International singer Anggun Cipta will be performing in a Jakarta concert on Sunday, according to a promoter.

Promoter Berlian Entertainment said that the concert would be held at the Jakarta Convention Center.

“Anggun is one of the singers who have made Indonesia proud. We are very happy to organize this concert,” Berlian Entertainment CEO Dino Hamid said Tuesday as quoted by

Anggun’s label, Sony Music, was upbeat that the concert would gain positive responses from Indonesian music lovers.

“Anggun’s record has received four platinum’s within less than four months. Indonesians still love Anggun,” said Sony Music Indonesia managing director Toto Widjojo.

During the concert Anggun said she would merge two different musical aspects.

“The classical orchestra will meet with rock,” Anggun said.

The promoter set prices ranging from Rp 475,000 (US$52.72) to Rp 5 million.

“We have sold 75 percent of all the tickets since October. We are not planning to sell the tickets on the spot,” Dino said.

The Script Concert in Jakarta FOR THE FIRST TIME

“Selamat malam, Indonesia! Apa kabar?”teriak Danny O’ Donoghue sambil berlari ke depan panggung setelah instrumen lagu “You Won’t Feel a Thing” dimainkan oleh Mark Sheehan dan Glen Power selama sepuluh detik. Ya, The Script mengadakan konser di Indonesia, tepatnya pada Sabtu malam 12 November 2011!

Bir Guinness merayakan ulang tahunnya di berbagai negara, termasuk di Indonesia. Ulang tahunnya yang ber-tagline Guinness Arthur’s Day ini dirayakan dengan adanya konser dari dua band kelas dunia, yaitu Mr. Big dan The Script.
Konser The Script yang sudah lama ditunggu-tunggu oleh penggemarnya di Indonesia ini akhirnya dilangsungkan di Pullman Ballroom, Central Park, Jakarta Barat. Danny dan kawan-kawan membuka konser dengan lagu “You Won’t Feel a Thing” yang disambut sangat meriah oleh penontonnya yang hampir mencapai lima ribu orang ini.

Sebelum The Script muncul, pada pukul tujuh sampai sepuluh malam, acara Guinness Arthur’s Day Indonesia dibuka oleh Bayu Oktara sebagai MC dan tiga pengisi acara lainnya yang berasal dari Indonesia.

Pada pukul sepuluh, yang ditunggu-tunggu pun muncul. Nama Danny dielu-elukan sebagian besar penonton. Setelah “You Won’t Feel a Thing” dimainkan, “We Cry” yang berasal dari album self-titled pun berkumandang. Penonton serentak bernyanyi bersama.

Danny yang saat itu memakai blazer hitam dengan kaus berwarna broken white di dalamnya tampil dengan prima, baik secara fisik maupun vokal. Ia kerap kali mendatangi tempat penonton berdiri sambil menyalam-nyalami penonton atau pun bernyanyi di depan gerbang pembatas penonton dan panggung konser.

Danny yang akhirnya membuka blazer hitamnya setelah setengah jam tampil pun sering mengucapkan salam-salam dalam Bahasa Indonesia untuk berinteraksi dengan penonton, seperti “ apa” dan “semua” untuk menghimbau para penonton meneruskan nyanyiannya. “Selamat malam”, “terima kasih”, dan “apa kabar” juga diucapkan beberapa kali oleh Danny dengan fasih.

“Before The Worst”, “The Man Who Can’t be Moved”, “Breakeven”, “Rusty Halo”, dan “The End Where I Begin” merupakan lagu-lagu dari album self-titled lainnya yang dibawakan oleh The Script malam itu. “Breakeven” dan “The Man Who Can’t be Moved” mendapatkan riuhan paling keras dari penonton.

Lagu-lagu dari album Science and Faith pun mendapatkan sambutan luar biasa dari penonton, terutama lagu “For The First Time”, “Nothing”, dan “If You Ever Come Back”. Selain itu, dibawakan pula lagu “Deadman Walking” dan “Science and Faith” dari album yang sama.

Konser berjalan dengan sangat baik. Walaupun ballroom tersebut berisi hampir lima ribu orang, tetapi suasana di tempat penonton sangat nyaman; tidak ada aksi dorong-mendorong secara paksa, tidak ada keributan, dan udara dalam ruangan yang sejuk.

Konser pun ditutup dengan lagu “For The First Time” yang sudah lama dielu-elukan penonton untuk dibawakan. Danny membawakan lagu ini sambil mengikatkan bendera Merah-Putih di lehernya sehingga seperti memakai jubah.
Wah, dengan jumlah fans yang banyak dan konser pertamanya yang diberi kesan baik oleh para penonton konser Indonesia, kapan ya kira-kira The Script akan kembali mengadakan konser di Indonesia? We are the men who can’t be moved for you, The Script!

– Reviewed and Written for Good News From Indonesia by Tamar Naomi

US Movie Studio to Remake Indonesian Action Thriller

Los Angeles. Screen Gems has acquired the remake rights for the Indonesian action movie “The Raid,” the studio announced on Wednesday.

The original film centers on an elite SWAT team that becomes trapped in a tenement run by a notorious drug lord. To escape, the men have to battle martial arts-trained killers and a militia armed with machetes and machine guns.

The movie was well-received at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions picked up US distribution rights to the original Indonesian film during the Cannes Film Festival.

The remake will be produced by XYZ Films, which produced the original film as well. Gareth Evans, the writer and director of the original film, will executive produce the project, but will not write or direct this new English language version.

The fight choreographers of the original film will also be involved with this remake, Screen Gems said.

Screen Gems’ president, Clint Culpepper, will oversee the project for the studio.


taken from: The Jakarta Globe

Has Life Got You Down? It’s Time to Sing and Dance

(Dewi Kurniati, The Jakarta Globe): Anger and anxiety over the widening gap between western and eastern Indonesia is growing and finding different outlets. Some people demonstrate in Jakarta and some blockade Freeport-McMoRan’s mine in Papua. And others sing and dance.

The Indonesia Choir (TIC) will tell the story of disparity in Indonesia through an interactive performance this Thursday. The performance, called “Dua Kisah Nusantara,” (roughly translating as “Two Stories of the Indonesian Archipelago”), will be held at Usmar Ismail Concert Hall in South Jakarta.

The three-hour concert will consist of more than 100 performers embracing and celebrating the country’s diversity through songs, dances and a traditional martial arts performance. Among the dancers will be 30 members of the National Police, most indigenous Papuans.

“I believe a choir offers an avenue to convey a message, and ours is crystal clear: We want to highlight the huge gap in development between the western and eastern parts of Indonesia,” said Jay Wijayanto, a co-founder of TIC and the music director and conductor of Thursday’s performance. “The choir and audience will engage in a discussion on issues such as injustice and multiculturalism through this interactive concert.”

And when Jay says interactive, he means interactive. He intends to stop conducting the concert and, from time to time, facilitate a conversation with the audience.

“We’ll talk and joke around regarding the issues, and if things get too serious, we’ll get back to singing and dancing again,” Jay said.

Besides the general public, some of the people charged with managing the problems in Papua and other eastern regions of the country are scheduled to attend the concert. They include the newly appointed chief of the Unit for the Acceleration of Development in Papua and West Papua [UP4B], Bambang Dharmono, and the minister of health, Endang Sedyaningsih.

“As we are all aware, these figures are currently in charge of solving problems in Papua. Papuans long for justice, but they also need good education and health programs,” Jay said.

Established in Jakarta in 2008, the Indonesia Choir has made it its mission to give voice to the country’s problems through its performances. What distinguishes TIC from other choirs, however, is that it typically performs traditional and national music from Indonesia, in addition to classical selections. “Dua Kisah Nusantara” is the choir’s fifth concert and follows four traditional performances: “Bunga Rampai tanah Airku,” “Sirih Pinang Melayu,” “Menjadi Indonesia” and “Nusa Silang Budaya.”

Members of the Indonesia Choir represent the country’s diversity, and hail from various cultural and professional backgrounds.

Choir member Yeremia Lalisang is part Manadonese and part Javanese, and an international relations lecturer at the University of Indonesia. Born in Jakarta, the energetic 22-year-old tenor joined the choir when it was established in 2008, and he is ecstatic about the upcoming performance.

“I am proud to be part of TIC because this group gives me a different perspective compared to my previous choir experiences,” Yeremia said. “The Indonesia Choir has a mission to preserve traditional Indonesian music, which is becoming quite rare these days.”

Another choir member, Stefanini Sumardiman, is a 41-year-old architect and soprano, and a mother of two. She has been involved in choir since her college days at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). “I used to sing classical song in the ITB’s choir. Today I still enjoy singing some classical, but mostly I sing traditional Indonesian songs,” she said.

On Thursday, the choir will entertain the public with a mix of 20 traditional, national and classical songs. Among the more classic Indonesian tunes scheduled to be performed are “Suluk Pambuka,” to be performed by well-known traditional artist Sujiwo Tejo, as well as “Lir Ilir” and “Yo Prakanca,” two well-known traditional Javanese songs.

“Marencong-rencong” from Sulawesi, “Lembe-Lembe” from Maluku and “Yamko Rambe Yamko” from Papua are among the songs that will represent the eastern regions of Indonesia at the performance.

And a medley of “Bolelebo,” “Bintu Biluhuta,” “Rasa Sayange” will be performed by the Indonesia Children’s Choir. For those who love classics, “Ave Maria” will also be part of the performance.

“We have been practicing for almost a year, and now it’s time to party,” Jay said. “We’ll see you there.”

Dua Kisah Nusantara: Interactive Concert
Thursday at 7 p.m.
Usmar Ismail Concert Hall
Jl. Rasuna Said Kav. C-22
Kuningan, South Jakarta
Tel: 0811 855344
Tickets from Rp 150,000

news source: The Jakarta Globe

Bright and Beautiful Night in Jakarta With Electro Act Owl City

31 October, 2011 Entertainment

Last Friday in Jakarta was particularly ugly. There was rain, lightning, thunder and traffic, lots of traffic. But that didn’t stop fans from leaving the comfort of offices, homes, schools and malls and descending on the Tennis Indoor Stadium in Senayan for a concert by Owl City, an electronica act visiting all the way from Minnesota in the United States.

The act’s determined fans were rewarded with a warm welcome from frontman Adam Young as he came on stage: “I never imagined that I could be somewhere so far away from home, but feel just as comfortable as at home, being greeted so warmly by you all. I’m crazy about you, Jakarta.”

Owl City released its third full-length studio album earlier this year and is currently promoting the album with the “All Things Bright and Beautiful” world tour. The electro outfit previously captured Indonesia’s heart in 2009 with the hit single “Fireflies,” from its second album, “Ocean Eyes.”

Young started Owl City as a solo project after he began experimenting with tunes in his parents’ basement in 2007. It has since developed from a solo independent act featured on MySpace and YouTube to an internationally successful band signed to a major label, with several hit singles under its belt.

When JAVA Musikindo, one of Indonesia’s biggest music promoters and concert organizers, announced that Owl City was coming to Indonesia, it didn’t take long for the tickets to sell out.

The expectant crowd on Friday cheered as American musician Breanne Duren, the opening act for Owl City, took the stage for a short set.

Although Duren is a relative unknown among Indonesian fans, with only a handful in the crowd singing along to her songs, the singer has collaborated with Owl City on several occasions, and the rest of the crowd managed to tune in quickly to her solo set.

When the clock struck 9 p.m. — a full two hours after the advertised starting time of 7 p.m. — a peculiar sound indicated that the moment everyone had been waiting for had finally arrived.

The members of Owl City came out one by one. Young was the last to appear on stage and immediately took his place behind the drum kit.

Backed by three other band members, Young began the show with a two-minute-long jam session, which eventually transitioned into “The Real World,” the opening song of the night, taken from the new album.

There were no elaborate stage set. A blown-up cover of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” served as the backdrop, featuring a flock of birds flying over a dreamy country landscape. However, the lighting effects made the band’s performance all the more spectacular.

Owl City played no fewer than 21 songs, with half coming from the latest album and the rest a mix from its previous albums, including favorites such as “Hello Seattle,” “Angels,” “I’ll Meet You There” and “Meteor Shower.” But the crowd made the most noise when Owl City launched into “Fireflies” and “Alligator Sky.”

One of the very cool things about the show was the way Owl City improvised during the introductions to most of the songs, leaving the crowd wondering and guessing what song they were going to play next. And the band members showed off their musicianship by blending one song into another, even performing a medley of three songs.

The only downside to an otherwise truly enjoyable show was that Owl City failed to perform one of its biggest hits, “Vanilla Twilight.” It was too bad because it was obvious that the fans were waiting for the song.

The night ended with the radio-friendly “If My Heart Was a House,” after which Owl City flew off into the night.


News source: The Jakarta Globe

Tio to Star Alongside Mickey Rourke

Indonesian actor Tio Pakusadewo announced on Wednesday that he is working together with American actor Mickey Rourke in an upcoming movie.

“I am in Yogyakarta now, acting with Mickey Rourke,” the 48-year-old told

The movie, titled Java Heat, is about an American citizen, played by Rourke, shadowing terrorists group in Java. Tio will play the terrorist leader.

Java Heat, which will be released in 2013, also features Indonesian artists Atiqah Hasiholan and Frans Tumbuan.


News source: The Jakarta Post