Was this your first time in Indonesia?
Yes, it was even the first time I travelled to Southeast Asia!
What were your expectations? How did you imagine Indonesia to be like?
I only knew little about Indonesia and read more about the history of the country in a travel guide. I quickly realized how culturally diverse this country is. That definitely made me curious!
What did you think about the choirs in Indonesia?
Before I came I already watched some videos of Indonesian choirs on YouTube and was amazed by their high quality. But only when I was there, I became fully aware of how dedicated and capable Indonesian people are when it comes to singing.
Did you have the impression that singing in Indonesia plays a different role than in Europe?
I think people in Indonesia are more willing to invest a lot of time in choral singing. To rehearse more than once a week doesn’t seem to be an obstacle here. I also noticed that community plays a huge part, perhaps especially when it comes to high quality aspirations. In Europe, I often see a tendency towards project choirs that come together for a limited time because the singers are fond of the level or the repertoire. The community is not really the main focus – which is a great pity because a choir can only develop its own tonal identity when there is a personal relationship between its members. This is also the case with professional choirs.
How did you perceive the three different cities you visited?
Jakarta is huge, chaotic and wonderful, unless you are in a hurry but are stuck in traffic. Medan left a lasting culinary impression – I am looking forward to having my next durian! Bandung was the greenest city of them and thus the prettiest.