Gedung Kesenian Jakarta has become the silent witness of the launching of AriReda’s third album Suara Dari Jauh. On Thursday, 23 March 2017, the show commenced at 8PM with Adrian Yunan from Efek Rumah Kaca as the opener and he performed his solo songs with a guitar on his lap. After he finished his performance, Reda narrated their journey as a band as well as the process of making their new album. The curtain was pulled out and there was the duo on stage. Wearing a navy blue ensemble, they greeted the stage with minimalist setting. There is a visual mapping on the back showing a rack with a clothes hanger. If you’ve been to AriReda’s gigs, you must have been familiar with the habit of these two mixing up their setlist on stage. However, the sudden improvisation seems to be strictly prohibited and AriReda stayed true to their setlist, although Ari teased a couple of times by doing a different intro than the intended song. The concert was divided into two parts; the first part saw the duo brought songs from their previous album while the later part showcased the songs from their new album. Their hit songs like “Di Restoran” by Sapardi Djoko Darmono, “Engkau Menunggu Kemarau” by Abdul Hadi WM, and poems from Toto Sudarto Bachtiar and Emha Ainun Najib were performed on the first part of the concert.
After a ten-minute break, the stage was opened and it has been decorated differently from the first one. “Suara Dari Jauh” is an album that is specially dedicated to musicalize Goenawan Mohamad’s verses or poems into songs. Goenawan Mohamad himself, participated on the show by being the one who introduce AriReda. They started to introduce the songs in their new album and also did some small talks in between. Having been together for more than three decades, Ari Malibu and Reda Gaudiamo showed an undeniable chemistry on stage. Both of them took turns to praise each other, with Reda even went as far as comparing Ari’s voice with the legendary late singer, Chrisye. They also induced laughter from the audience as they told funny stories behind the making of Suara Dari Jauh. “Senja Pun Jadi Kecil, Kota Pun Jadi Putih”, “Orang di Katedral”, “Surat Cinta” are among Goenawan Mohamad’s poems that have been turned into songs. It was no other than Umar Muslim who has crafted the melodies for all the poetic words from GM. AriReda admitted that it was the first time for both Umar Muslim and Goenawan Mohamad to listen to the final version of the songs which they have arranged and did some alterations.
Reda also told the hardships and arguments they had while making this album, and she said “I want people to acknowledge that this is not an easy album (to make).” They also did not forget to mention some people that they called as The Secret Agents as people who have helped a lot. They are Felix Dass as their manager, Ruth Marbun as the visual artist for the album, Indra Ameng as the photographer, and Anton Gendel who helped the process of mixing and mastering the album. They also cited the never ending support from the poets that were also in attendance like Goenawan Mohamad, Sapardi Djoko Darmono and Joko Pinurbo. Initially planned to perform on stage with Tenggulun Choir, a choir of children who AriReda taught, the stint was cancelled due to the kids’ school activity. A song called “Z” closed out the second part of the concert and the spectators seemed to can’t get enough of the beautiful harmonies from AriReda. So, they decided to play more songs and “Hujan Di Bulan Juni” and “Aku Ingin” from Sapardi Djoko Darmono became the ultimate closing from them. Applause and cheers from the crowd ended their performance and we could say that the difficulties they faced prior to the launching and showcase of this album were paid off big time. For two hours, their set gave us the full experience of audio and visual with a great engagement with the audience. The album Suara Dari Jauh has now been available to purchase in its physical format. The special edition CD with a live CD included are only sold in limited 500 copies, completed with gorgeous visual artworks from Ruth Marbun.