This is for Kartini. A Playlist.

Outside his clocked-up schedule as a freelance physical therapist and a noodle stall co-owner, Timothy has his own way to appreciate music. This curly haired guy with overwhelming glasses thickness explores his musical fascination retrospectively. “As long as it’s tapping my foot, I’m down with it—music has to make you go nuts and dance”, he said. Most of his playlist orbits around African, Arabic, and 70’s funk music. When his days gone blue he might cranked up the volume for anything as loud as Soundgarden and even sing along to The Beatles. He’s a prolific bathroom trumpeter with a perfect pitch.

When he made this playlist, he did not have the intention to make it specifically for Kartini. He made it to appreciate female Jazz talents such as Billie Holiday or Diana Krall. As the flow becomes clear, he adds a unique wide range of topics into the playlist that revolves around fantasy, love, freedom of choice, anger, and self-appreciation. Nonetheless, it explains women empowerment and acknowledgement. Which reminded him of Kartini.

The playlist was made upon Jazz foundation. Although some of the local singers are mostly folk and pop related genres, Timothy chose them carefully to achieve singularity. It began with Kartini’s theme song Ibu Kita Kartini (Our Mother Kartini) as sung by Surya Children Choir. Immediately he chose Margie Segers, an Indonesian Jazz legend to start the playlist. The dynamic increases until the end of the playlist when he added Indonesian propaganda song Genjer-Genjer sung in Khmer language by Dengue Fever—an LA based band which blends Cambodian rock and pop music. Lastly, the playlist ended with Tika and the Dissidents’ Tubuhku Otoritasku (My Body is My Authority), as a nod to current sexual harassment issue.

Illustration and words by Timothy Satyaabieza

After he saw a tweet from Jazz FM about the nominees for instrumentalist of the year 2019, and it was Saxophonist Camilla George stood next to some of the male instrumentalist greats, he had to find other awesome female instrumentalists. He found Jazzmeia Horn— a saxophonist, Nubya Garcia—trumpeter, and Lianne Le Havas—his personal favorite guitarist. On top of that, his curiosity expanded and found Indonesian talents in singer songwriter department. He found Eva Celia, Banda Neira (lead by singer Rara Sekar Larasati), and Vira Talisa. He immediately merged these great artists with immense stories to tell into one chapter of a playlist. “They create the image of Kartini implicitly within their talents and songs”, adds Timothy. “This playlist is dedicated for them as well”.

Timothy yearns the rest of the listeners could celebrate and continue Kartini’s purpose in our own unique ways. With this playlist he wishes an enduring strength among women, trans-women, trans-men, and lesbians in the current situation of discrimination. For ladies that are currently shouts for equal salary in their occupation, Timothy urges them to keep fighting. Lastly, for mothers that are shouting for help in their daily lives, he hopes their children and partners could lend a hand to lessen the weight. This one is for Kartini.

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