ACD014 Lokananta Klenengan “Onang-Onang”
CD Release date: July 17, 2006.
This CD contains all the tracks on Lokananta cassette ACD 014. The cassette was issued on the 15th of September, 1972. Keluarga Karawitan Studio RRI Surakarta led by P. Atmasunarto.
1. Gending Titipati. Slendro Nem
The Gending Titipati was Paku Buwono IV’s last composition. Titipati is a symbol for the last gending. In karawitan, Gending Titipati is not only played for a klenengan or concert, but it is also used as a gending wayang. As a gending wayang, Titipati is played for the kedathonan portion, namely kedathonan Ngastina Dewi Banowati. It uses the ciblon drum. The text in gending Titipati is in the Asmaradana style, and the story is taken from Serat Menak (The Knight’s Letter). It tells the story of the Ambassador Damarwulan.
“During the Majapahit time, there once ruled a queen named Ratu Ayu Kencono Wungu. This queen was confronted by the regent of Probolinggo, Menak Jinggo who rebelled against the Majapahit. A huge army was sent to vanquish him, but they were wiped out.
Ratu Ayu Kencono Wungu received a vision that someone would come to fight with Menak Jinggo, and that this person would win. She found Damarwulan, the son-in-law of Majapahit vizier, patih Logender. He was married to Anjasmoro, the vizier’s daughter. They were newly wed.
The Queen summoned Damarwulan, and assigned him to fight with, and kill, Menak Jinggo.
Damarwulan’s heart was split in two. Eventually with difficulty he chose to leave his wife and go into battle.
He entered the kedaton of Blambangan, where Menak Jinggo resided. Both men fought a long fight. Menak Jinggo was very mighty, as he had a sakti (magical power) in him. Thrust by a spear, he laughed, stabbed by a dagger, he smiled. He could not be killed. Damarwulan finally lost the duel.
Damarwulan was a very handsome-looking knight
Thus Menak Jinggo said: ‘I will not kill you. You have such a handsome and fine face. I will not kill you straight away, instead I will use you.’”
For Javanese people, the lesson to be learned from this song is the hesistation one faces when one has to decide between one’s duty and responsibility as a citizen and one’s personal affairs.
In the transition from Titipati to Siyem, the galungan structure is unusual.
The name Siyem is taken from Siam, the old name for Thailand. During the reign of Paku Buwono X (1893 until 1939), there were many dignitaries who came to visit the Kraton from foreign countries. When the dignitaries came from the Kingdom of Siam (now known as Thailand), the musicians played the Thai national anthem. Listening to this anthem, the pengrawit (musicians) from the Solo palace reckoned that there was an element similar to slendro in its melody. Later on they composed Ladrang Siyem, based on this melody. This melody is so popular that it is even used in the Ramayana dance in the Prambanan temple.
2. Ladrang Asmaradana. Slendro Manyura
Asmaradana is a type of a Javanese traditional song, dating from the Majapahit period. Majapahit has eleven types of tembang or sekar; including, Mijil, Kinanthi, Pucung, Sinom. Dhandhanggulo, Asmaradana, etc. From these tembang or sekar, the gending are composed.
The gending Asmaradana was composed during the Paku Buwono X era (also the time of Mangkunegoron IV). The prominent figure who composed these gendings was Raden Mas Harjo Tondokusumo. He was a member of the Mangkunegaran family.
This type of gending was commonly used to accompany a dance, called Langendrian, which belonged to the Mangkunegaran family. Langendrian is a form of dance where all the dancers are female.
The Asmaradana is very popular within the community. It is not only used for Langendrian, but also for Klenengan, Wayang Orang, Ketoprak and Wayang Kulit. In wayang kulit, it is used like Titipati, namely during the section of kedatonan. Asmaradana is also used for gending Beksan. There is golek Asmaradana, there is Beksan Menak Koncar. These gending use Ladrang Asmaradana.
Furthermore, because Asmaradana songs are pleasant, they are formed into smaller forms, namely Ketawang Asmaradana.
Asmaradana is a love song, and has a happy or cheerful character, rhythm, style and atmosphere. Although sometimes there is a sombre tone, still it is about love. It is like falling love; although there are tears, they are a different kind of tears. (laughter and tears which happen simultaneously).
The text is taken from Serat Menak, and the pesinden is Prenjak.
“Puspo jane awak mami, tangtu no pangestu ne tiang”
These words describe the scene where Damarwulan is dying, while Menak Jinggo hesitates in killing him.
There is a part before the gerong and sindhen come together, in kenong 1 called senggakan (punctuation). This senggakan functions as an ornament for the whole song.
The garap (a correct and appropriate technique in playing gending and singing a song) of this tune shows the happy character of the piece. It uses irama wiled, and irama rangkep. Both are used to support the happy atmosphere of the gending.
In irama rangkep or Double Tempo, the interplay between gender and bonang is very attractive, as if both instruments are communicating with each other. It is enjoyable to listen to them. Sometimes there are certain “signals” being expressed between each of the gamelan players, as if one is asking the other to come and play. Each musician contributes to the other respectively. Thus it is very appropriate if we say that gamelan karawitan is in fact a community life, where elements of togetherness, tolerance and communication play an important role in holding the community together.
Asmaradana is taken from Majapahit tembang. Each title of tembang Majapahit describes the stages of one’s life. Asmaradana is the stage where people start to fall in love, or take interest in the opposite sex.
3. Bawa Sekar Ageng Manggalagita, dawah gending Onang-onang kalajengaken. Ladrang Tirtakencana. Pelog nem.
Before the bawa is sung, it is preceded by a patetan, senggringan or tingtingan.
In karawitan, it is usually pathetan which has the function of emphasizing how the pathet feels for those who will sing the bawa.
Between the bawa and the gending, a dhawah is used. Between the bawa as an intro and the time the gong buka starts, this space is called dhawah. Dhawah means to fall, to come down. This term is only used in the Surakarta/Solo area.
The pembawa here is Pak Sastro Tugiyo, the same pembawa who sang the bawa in Gambir Sawit.
The bawa lines are basically telling that this is gending Onang-onang.
The merong part in Titipati has no gerong elements, whereas Onang-onang uses the gerong element. The gerong in Onang-onang uses the Kinanthi text.
There are many special garaps in gending Onang-onang. Usually the sindhen starts in kenong 2, but in Onang-onang she starts in kenong 1.
The suling sounds we hear in this recording are immaculate. It is very rare nowadays to find a suling player of such quality. Pak Tarina Pangrawit died only recently (2005).
One can notice when Onang-onang starts from the words sung by the sindhen “alah Bapak onang-onang.” It is apparent that the text is specifically for Onang-onang, and cannot be used in other gending.
After the gong, the tune Tirto Kencono begins.
In Onang-onang, the text used is kinanthi, whereas in Tirto Kencono, the text used has a structural characteristic called salisir.
Salisir only consists of four lines, each line consists of eight syllables while Kinanthi consist of six lines.
Onang-onang was a composition by PB IV, as was Titipati.
It was composed in pelog nem. At the beginning, onang-onang is in laras (tone) slendro, pathet sanga. Although it is presented in pelog, the kendangan (drum) still uses the kendang induk, namely, slendro songo.
Onang-onang is a happy gending, and many special garaps are being used for sindhen, rebab and gender. The irama transitions, cengkok, wilet, sindhen, gender and rebab are very complex and difficult.