Senin, 18 Maret 2013

The Butterfly Lovers & The Cry of the Violin

I remember, some time ago, I used to play it on the desktop. Vanessa-Mae’s version from her China Girl. I love it because it’s lyrical and at some point grandeur. It’s a beautiful marriage of Chinese-style music and Western orchestration. The violin, of course, is the king.

One morning Fiona asked, “Whose music is it?”

Vanessa-Mae’s, said I.

“It’s so Chinese style.”

It’s the Butterfly Lovers Violin Orchestra

“Butterfly what? Oh, I know, it’s Sampek Engtay!”

I had no idea what or who Sampek Engtay was. So I consulted a book.

Long long time ago in the Middle Kingdom, Engtay, just like Fa Mulan, cleverly disguised herself as a boy in order to get education. She met Sampek. Long story short, they fell in love. Sadly, they got separated because Engtay’s parents forced her to marry their colleague’s son. Sampek, heartbroken, fell ill and soon, died. On her way to some place on her wedding day, Engtay passed by Sampek’s grave. She took some time to pray. Hearing this, the sky thundered, the grave broke open, and Engtay jumped into it. Then a pair of butterfly flew from inside the grave to the sky….

Years later from the converation, I managed to watch the show. Exactly last weekend. Watching the show (Teater Koma’s version is not accompanied with the Violin Orchestra but by their own musical pieces), I realized why some parts of the Violin Orchestra is so melancholic. The way the violin cries sounds like a woman in agony. And near the end of the third move, it roars grandly, I bet it's when the grave breaks open. What music.

As for the show, this year’s Sampek Engtay is the 25th year celebration of the show. Back in 1988, the show caused a stir for portraying many Chinese inspiration. Chinese culture was banned in public from late 1960s to late 1990’s by the regime. Cleverly the director, Nano Riantiarno rewrote the centuries old love story and set it in Indonesia. It was a clever move. So the show is a friendly reminder of what a regime could do and also a celebration of what freedom can inspire.

Tidak ada komentar: