Mas Beben… the Jazz

Kenduri Cinta, Jazz 7 Langit.

Indonesian Version

Over the weekend we received the news that Mas Beben was ill and in hospital, and early today we learned that he had passed away at 6am this morning. Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rojiun.

Mas Beben has been a regular fixture at Kenduri Cinta for many years. With his band, he played rock, pop and contemporary songs early on in the gathering and would come back for frequent short performances in between the discourse and other activities. But more than pop and rock, more than other activities, Mas Beben was the Jazz!

Jazz has been a popular form of music in America since the early decades of the twentieth century. It grew in popularity, earning a massive following, and expanded mid-century to reach a worldwide audience. Jazz always had something “different” about it. It meant “not playing by the rules”. It embraced the “avant-garde”. It played with different chords and gave its audience a new kind of dynamic performance. But most of all, it meant freedom.

Free jazz was the ultimate jazz, seemingly unstructured yet bound by its own set of rules. Try listening to Ornette Coleman or Don Cherry. Understanding “freedom” and how we use it has always been a core of our spiritual learning at Maiyah gatherings and Kenduri Cinta. Mas Beben brought that gift of freedom to Kenduri Cinta.

He was much more than just an “opening act”. His “jazz” and jazz principles became part of the sonic fabric of Kenduri Cinta and was often incorporated into the evening’s material and used as part of Cak Nun’s subject matter as he explored the framework for jazz and the boundaries of music that it stretched, drawing parallels with other lines of thought and framing new ideas.

Mas Beben made that possible, on his guitar and with his jazz music. He opened the proceedings and he played the interludes. He played the jazz masters and the pop favourites. Now he’s played his last, we thank him and miss him.

Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rojiun.


Mas Beben… yang Adalah Jazz

Akhir pekan lalu kita menerima kabar Mas Beben terbaring di rumah sakit. Dan pagi ini kita mendapat berita duka bahwa beliau wafat pada pukul 06.00 WIB. Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rojiun.

Mas Beben sangat aktif di Kenduri Cinta selama beberapa tahun terakhir. Bersama bandnya ia memainkan lagu-lagu bergenre rock, pop, dan kontemporer di pembukaan Kenduri Cinta. Lalu berlanjut berdendang di sela-sela Maiyahan. Namun, lebih dari langgam pop dan rock, lebih dari pertunjukan lainnya, Mas Beben adalah Jazz itu sendiri!

Jazz menjadi musik unggulan di Amerika semenjak dekade awal abad ke-20. Popularitasnya meroket, menarik jamak pengikut, dan selama setengah abad menjangkau seluruh warga dunia. Jazz acap kali mengusung sesuatu yang “berbeda”. Bentuk permainannya di luar pakem. Musik Jazz hakikatnya menganut “avant-garde” (melawan batas dan norma).

Musik Jazz dimainkan dengan kombinasi nada yang unik sehingga menyuguhkan pertunjukan yang segar bagi penonton. Tapi yang terpenting, Jazz menyiratkan kebebasan.

Kebebasan merupakan senjata pamungkas dalam musik Jazz. Kelihatannya tak terstruktur. Serba improvisasi. Namun, justru itulah esensinya. Jazz punya seperangkat aturannya sendiri. Coba nikmatilah mahakarya Ornette Coleman atau Don Cherry.

Memahami “kebebasan” dan bagaimana kita mengejawantahkannya merupakan inti pembelajaran spiritual di Maiyah dan Kenduri Cinta. Mas Beben menyuguhkan sajian kebebasan semacam itu buat Kenduri Cinta. Permainannya di panggung sungguh melampaui pertunjukan pembuka.

Kehidupannya yang ngejazz dan permainan jazz-nya sefrekuensi dengan Kenduri Cinta dan sering dijadikan pokok bahasan di Maiyah. Cak Nun sendiri memakainya sebagai bagian dari topik diskusi manakala membincang kerangka Jazz dan batas-batas musik sekaligus mengaitkannya dengan pemikiran lain maupun pemunculan ide-ide baru.

Dengan gitar dan musik jazz hal itu dimungkinkan Mas Beben. Ia membuka seluruh kemungkinan dan memainkannya. Beliau membawakan musik jazz papan atas dan lagu pop terfavorit. Hari ini Mas Beben menutup pertunjukan itu. Terima kasih, Mas. Kami merindukanmu selalu.

Inna lilahi wa inna illahi rojiun.

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