Music et Docs: Redefining Music on Documentary


Collaborated with LARAS, a studies community focusing on topics related to society music, on Wednesday (12/9), Music et Docs has been held on the third day of the 14th FFD. Took place in seminar room of Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, three documentaries with music as the main narrative setting was screened at that moment.

From India, Nafir: Musical Impressions of A New Age Dervish appeared to be the opening of this program, delivering narration of musical exploration by a man called Nima, a dervish who was originally from Iran with his inventions toward concepts of inner peace, sacred spiritual, and sincere love when he was playing music along his Sufism journey in India.  Through a hybrid of the old and new records on its montage, we were placed in holy spiritual and cultural bonds between India and Iran.

The next one was I Am Just A Song which presented daily routine of three middle-aged persons with different backgrounds that then united by karaoke. This 15-minutes-long Canadian Short-length film was well-organized to show how karaoke could be an escape from daily life for the main characters in this documentary.

When A Song Begins was short-length documentary, which ended this program. A narration of a blind person with disabilities called Maria, who sings in order to heal herself. Combining reality with cinematic narration, the emptiness on several scorings in the beginning scene was the key of how a dramatic scene of lonely and isolated Maria became attractive to be presented in this silent documentary.

After screening those films above within 54 minutes duration in total, Music et Docs then was ended with a discussion and question-answer session with Irfan R Darajat (Irfan) and Franciscus Apriwan (Iwan), these men were representatives of LARAS and FFD. Moderated by Michael H.B Raditya, the explanation of possibilities or influences regarding music as a medium of personal emotion expression as well as a medium of cultural idea expression was explained right away. Adopted a great theme “Redefining Music on Documentary,” redefining the way a documentary can be considered as music documentary is when the music acts as the basic narration  that delivered by the filmmakers through his/her own interpretation instead of just being the scoring.

In his explanation, Iwan added about the tendency of Indonesian documentaries which more likely to conduct a story of a band, the musicians’ daily life, and a musical show that also appeared on Nafir: Musical Impressions of A New Age Dervish while the way the music itself does influence the environment is hardly exposed.

Beside of being the main narration, the capability of music in the documentary is also seen from its ability to create such a spatial atmosphere onto human senses. Cognitive-collective memory built by the filmmakers, intentionally or not, via a soundscope through music is proving its capability of increasing the film’s intention to persuade the audience’s sense.

“Glad to see the collaboration between FFD and LARAS. LARAS had wider discussion, and FFD had different discussion which usually just a light discussion with the filmmaker, but in Music et Docs, it went deeper. Yet for that one, whether it was because the less-enthusiast audience or the material was not attractive, it felt boring. Regardless the execution, the idea of Music et Docs was very attractive. I hope this program will be held again for years ahead,” said Titah, one of the audiences of Music et Docs.

[Dwiki Aprinaldi/Teguh Nurrohman]

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