Hari Ketiga (The Third Day) - An Improvopera In Nine Acts
(2020 - MoonJune Records - USA)
A tour de force that displays the sacred, fearless, profound, abstract, theatrical, adventurous, and not without the jazz entree, or classical scattering, all in a cerebral magnitude of multiple dimensions. A huge undertaking, this epic concept work is nearly two hours (156 minutes) of music and an amazing aural eargasm rarely known by any listener. After wiping the sweat from my forehead, blinking quite rapidly to regain my focus, and attempting to accept what I was hearing for the first time, I began to write down some fresh impressions I had of this remarkable project. I failed to do my usual full sentences, and I realized I just had to sit and listen to the entire masterpiece of this incredible set of works. Yes, the pleasure zones in my body were all getting fully stroked and not a moment of the music was letting go of this extraordinary height of utopia. This happens every so often where I hear something unexpectedly, perhaps in a rush to get more done, or just randomly grabbing a disc that I do not really know what it will sound like, or in this case, knowing the artist's previous output well, and perhaps thinking it will be more of that (and in most cases I am listening because I already love the older recordings and know this will be great as well). Obviously you can see I was overtaken by this latest, and massive in concept and content, pinnacle by Indonesian multi keyboardist Dwiki Dharmawan. To try and describe the entire wheel of styles, hues and climate of the massive album, would be a shortfall, but lovers of the progressive music artists throughout history, who relish the conceptual exercises in which all the walls and boundaries were ignored and invention was the reward, will totally be in love with this.
It is no secret that each of these musicians playing on the double compact disc are of themselves, masters of their own musical world. Involved are DWIKI DHARMAWAN - Acoustic Piano, Mini Moog, Fender Rhodes, Harmonium, Occasional Vocal & Ambient Noises/ BORIS SAVOLDELLI - Vocals, Vocal Effects, Live Electronics/ MARKUS REUTER - Touch Guitars® AU8, Live Electronics/ ASAF SIRKIS - Drums, Cymbals, Occasional Ambient Noise/ with Jeremias Pah - Voice & Sasando (track 6)/ Endi Pah - Voice and Tambur (track 6)/ Jonas Mooy with Inggu Ndolu Art Group- Voices, Sasando, Gong and Tambu (track 7). And if you can believe it (after listening to this album) that the basic tracks were recorded by Jesus Rovira at La Casamurada studio, Banyeres del Penedés, Catalunya, Spain, all performed live by those first listed (count four) musicians in the studio on May 17, 2017. Several additional parts were added at various times including Boris Savoldelli’s Italian vocals and additional sound effects (August 31, 2017, at the Insanology Studio, Solto Collina (BG), Italy). More in notes for those who buy the physical CD and get a beautifully made package with very full booklet wth additional photos and art. Mixed and mastered by Mark Wingfield at Heron Island Studio, Cambridgeshire, England, August 2017 and April 2020. Paintings by Buno Zopetti. Photos by Leonardo Pavkovic. Graphics by Aleksandar Popovic.
While past recordings by Dharmawan have featured occasional dreamy female vocals, this one features a far more eclectic and sometimes dramatic voice/vocal arrangements by none other than Boris Savoldellis. Stating he performs what surely must be the grandest showing if his career so far, might even be an understatement. And if Dharmawan has ever played better, I need to find that lost jewel. There are virile performances by Sirkis on drums (never overplaying, only giving the beautiful touches and extra attention to details he is recognized for) and Reuter on touch guitars and electronics (always a consummate artist). Dharmawan also does some occasional vocals and additional ambient noises. There is no stone left unturned as far as what is needed to make this spectacular achievement occur. It is a very nice thing indeed that Leonardo Pavkovic (Mr MoonJune himself) allows artists like these to just roll the tape and make the magic happen. The 9 Acts of Hari Ketiga (The Third Day) although highly involved, with a very special and exhaustive detail of the concept in liner notes, here is a short form from the intro: "Documenting the labyrinths of alien terrain they encountered, "Hari Ketiga" is the logbook amassed during the sonic and philosophical expedition of four extraordinary and visionary musicians". A must read of the expansive notes will stretch your mind, not to mention how many brain cells you will grow while listening to the full album. I warn you, once you blast off with this, you might not return the same way. Both an otherworldly and iconoclastic travelogue that visits more than a few galaxies, and places you have never even dreamed of. SERIOUSLY RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 2 - 28 - 2021