Jakarta's music and nightlife |

Nurturing the Music Within Us

Jakarta's Music and Nightlife | 1 September 2019

In a sense that is profoundly different than what we see today, music and nightlife has been a part of human lifestyle for more than 10,000 years.

A bartender giving drinks to a man and a woman at Hakkasan Bar
Bars and lounges are Jakartans' favourite places to hangout after work, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Where do you and your colleagues usually go? Photo by Raditya Fadilla/NOWJAKARTA

A research conducted by Iegor Reznikoff from Paris Nanterre University in 2008 revealed a connection between ancient cave paintings and musical acoustics: the most densely painted areas of several prehistoric French caves are also those with the best acoustics. This led to the conclusion that the ancient painters had fine-tuned hearing that allowed them to recognise the acoustics of various parts of those caves, and that they most likely painted in those locations as they sang or hummed.

Further, one of the most common scenes depicted in cave paintings were of cavemen gathering around man-made fire, indicating they would stay up at night while, most likely, eating, communing, worshipping, chanting or even possibly singing. Yes, our distant forebearers were musical with an active nightlife. Recorded history abundantly and conclusively proved our fondness for music and nightlife.

Over thousands of generations, you can say these have become imprinted in our DNA. It is an ancient drive. There’s a certain thirst in our psyche that only melodious nocturnal activities can satiate. It is a primal instinct. Dark. Unknowable. Some would even call it sacred. Perhaps this is why nightclubs are bereft of light? Who knows these things.

Today, we are still slaves to these basic human needs. Outside of the obvious urban nightlife, most recreational activities happen at night: the best programmes and movies are played at night on TV, reading is more engrossing at night, best-selling authors write amidst the silence of the night, fishermen catch the best hauls at night, workaholics are most productive at night. The examples are endless.

And music? Archaeologists have discovered Paleolithic flutes carved from cave bear femurs. Today, foetuses are subjected to classical music as early as the 18th week of pregnancy; as soon as the auditory system starts forming—and that’s clinically encouraged. Most of us work better with music in the background. What do we do when we feel swamped? We plug in our earphones and turn on our tunes. A recent study shows that 90 per cent of the world’s population listens to some type of music, commercial or otherwise.

Zooming in to our beloved city, join us as our playlist takes you on a tour to look at some of what the city has to offer in terms of music and nightlife. We are sharing our favourite bars in which you can sip, savour and listen to the best sounds. We’re also putting the focus on the cultural side of music as we look at some of the best concert venues in town. Contributor William Woodruff shares his report on Northern music in Jakarta. Also, who knew gamelan-produced metal music could sound so riveting!?

But first, here’s what some active Jakartans think of nightlife in the city, which I’m sure many of us can relate.

Alessandra Carelli

@alessandra.india

Alessandra Carelli, 31

Director of Sales

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

Expats used to gather in Kemang and Mega Kuningan. Now we love trying new dining places and experience different food choices.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

Discovering new dining venues.

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

My ideal special occasion venue would be a nice aperitif at a rooftop bar, followed by dinner.


Harry Darsono

@sir.harry.darsono

Harry Darsono, 69

Fashion Designer

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

Vibrant with many clubs, cafés, bars and restaurants.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

Visiting bars with friends and enjoying live music!

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

Jazz and classical performance enjoyed with friends and colleagues.


Maina Harjani

@mainaharjani

Maina Harjani, 28

Entrepreneur

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

Many places now offer dining and partying under one roof, making it so much more convenient.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

A good Italian restaurant or out watching a movie or enjoying a drink at one of the city’s al fresco restaurants/lounges.

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

Hang out with best friends over beer and live music.


Gretty Arisa

@getccy

Gretty Arisa, 29

Sales Manager

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

Very vibrant. From speakeasies to night clubs, Jakarta has it all.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

Chilling with my besties, easy drinks and live music.

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

Every weekend is a life celebration, and I like to have a little party with my besties. Cheers!


Julie Sugianto

@juliesugianto

Julie Sugianto, 33

Marcomm Manager

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

Very keen and lots of variety from the entertainment, music genre, to location wise.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

Good dinner or snacking while having chit chat with friends and listening some live music.

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

Hang out with best friends, have some beers with live music.


Charles Richard

@charlesrichardthebar

Charles Richard, 40

Bar Manager

What’s your take on Jakarta’s nightlife scene today?

a good influence for a lively luxury bar scene and cocktails concept which is related with foods to be served/pairing Such as Corn & Pepper, Truffle Boluo, Smoked Duck Sazerac etc which is based on the food concept - Vibrant, with many options from bars to nightclubs.

How do you experience nightlife in Jakarta?

We got a good minded market people who always curios and demand for instoppable innovation in terms of concept and acceptance product

What is your ideal nightlife experience for special occasions or celebrations?

From as simple as family closed relation dinner, with a pre dinner cocktails up to a big party at the clubs.

 


This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine September 2019 issue “Jakarta's Music and Nightlife”. Available at selected bookstores or SUBSCRIBE here.