Shelly Gautama took to the bagpipes not long after she moved to Melbourne for boarding school. Since then she has performed internationally. NOW! Jakarta caught up with her to find out more.
Do you come from a music-focused family?
I am not from a particularly music-focused family, but I did learn flute as part of a school extracurricular activity before learning the bagpipes.
What was it about the instrument that was most appealing to you?|
The Bagpipes are a unique instrument. In an orchestra, there are many different instruments playing different things and the challenge is to create beautiful harmonious sound with the many instruments. On the other hand, in a pipe band, most of the time all the pipers would play exactly the same thing, but the challenge is to play with such precision that the whole band sounds like a single piper. As simple as it sounds, this requires a lot of practice and concentration.
Are there any community groups in Jakarta that you belong to in connection with your musical interests?
During the few years I was in Melbourne, I played with Presbyterian Ladies College Pipe Band (2004 – 2007) and Hawthorn City Pipe Band (2008 – 2010). I really enjoyed playing in a pipe band as having a community gives me more motivation to keep improving myself. Right now, there is no pipe band in Jakarta, so I mainly perform solos. Although there are no pipe bands in Indonesia, there are many pipe bands in the neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Many of them used to come to Jakarta Highland Gathering where they would compete in groups as well as solos. I participated in Jakarta Highland Gathering from 2011 to 2015, and helped coordinate the pipes and drums competition for the gathering in 2014 and 2015.
Where are some of your memorable performances been?
My most memorable performances would be playing during Anzac Dawn Services and Remembrance Services in Menteng Pulo cemetery in Jakarta. The services start in the early morning. It has always been a privilege for me to take part in the solemnity of the event.
This article is originally from paper. Read NOW!Jakarta Magazine September 2018 issue “Music and Nightlife”. Available at selected bookstore or SUBSCRIBE here.