He said his roots is classic; some says he actually belongs to classic crossover, ambient, electronic. But he clearly said, “It is classic, definitely classic,” he paused for a moment and then added, “But since I also play various genre of music, I think it is fair if you said that I belong to other genre,”

Who is he? 

Namely Dissa Kamajaya, one tiny/funny/weird musically and artistically gifted adolescent from Bandung, Indonesia. Take a quick glance at him and you will see just an ordinary young man. You should then try to have a conversation with him to realize and find Dissa is way far from ordinary.

He launched his first symphony in 2009 which ironically titled symphony no.25 instead of symphony no.1 – I asked him why during our morning talk and he answer lightly,

“Because number 25 has a very special meaning in my life and I could not give you any more details (pause) except you give me LSD (laugh).”

The Jakesperiment: Symphony No. 25 and Their Glories of the Night offers you a dreamy and classical feeling through five exceptional songs. Even so, this album considered as one interpretation from musical experiment that combine the roots of post rock and ambient melody. It is influencing your consciousness to sink deeply into a beautiful imagination.

I, myself, accidentally got two opportunities in enjoying his music live. Supposedly, it’d be one of the performances that I won’t forget for its quality – instead, the first show at Cikole, Bandung was cancelled due to technical errors and the second was not satisfying since he’s not really playing his music but it was fun to hear him collaborating with Avenue on the tribute night of Radiohead. (He did give an interesting touch onto the song but unfortunately the lack of preparation gave me a bit disappointment due to high expectation).

So I asked him again, what was the reason he faced failures in performing live, again with his laid-back style he answered,

“I failed in delivering a perfect live performance because it is difficult to accomplish the exact voices expected using Windows OS. While using MBP gave me more confidence in performing my music. This theory is proven during my performance with avenue which only has a slight technical error, but again this is just my theory.”

Well, young man – you better equipped yourself with a more supporting instrument then if you are planning to continue performing without any errors or creating another failure and disappointment to your fans, right? (Writer’s note: after the interview took place, he has equipped himself with proper instrument despite the fact he pour a glass of water on it – let’s just hope it’s repairable.)

In 2010, Jakesperiment gave birth to his second baby. The Jakesperiment: Symphony No. 26; Die ist scwarz die Rhetorik schwarz, weiss, grau und der Regenbogen. Don’t ask me what was that all about because it is difficult to explain and the best way to understand is to listen to the songs.

Again, presenting conceptual instrumental tunes poured into four songs with different stories behind it, supported by (unspoken) poem. I personally enjoy listening to ‘Rhetorik’ not because of its dreamy impression but more likely for its relaxing nuance which succeeded in turning the anxiety I have into a solitude phase (and in my humble opinion, I think this is one of the good song you can listen while you were with your partner, IF you know what I mean). If you are into a story-telling melody then you can pick the 20 minutes duration of Schwarz Weiss Grau (translated; Black – White – Grey) where you will find yourself being taken back and forth. This song is literally playing with your emotion’s flow.

Considering his instrumental music which accompanied by poem, I was curious and couldn’t help but to ask, “Why? Why did you put a poem inside the album while all of your music is instrumental?” – He answered shortly but I failed to determine if he’s serious or not.

“Because it is instrumental, when you are just bored and got nothing to do, you could read the poem while listening to the song,”

Trying to catch on the conversation before he should leave for his examination, I threw another question. “Being a musician, is it what you aspired to do? Or is it because you have no other choice?”

“My aspiration is not to become a musician but more to become a composer. I love writing and producing songs but prefer to have it played by other musician on a big stage supported by a full team of orchestra,”

He was goofing around a bit and we had an intermezzo for a while, then he added up his previous answer, just to make a point, I think.

“Because I don’t have the ability to play any instrument good enough but I know  for sure that I am capable of producing songs which I, myself, could not play due to my limitation – hence, composer it is,”

Just before I thought he’s done answering, a joke came out from his mouth,

“I think I would like to be a drug dealer,”

Which of course followed by us laughing out loud. As I said before, this young man is funny in a (good) weird way; we share some stories whilst waiting the sun arose. He was showing off his Sinatra’s collection (yeah, quite surprising for me to know that he apparently enjoying the king of swing-vocal jazz-classic pop) and he suddenly asked me if I ever wonder why he chose ‘Jakesperiment‘ – which I do not know the precise reason but was guessing it has to do with his nickname ‘Jakes’ and the word ‘Experiment’.

“This is an exclusive statement from me for you (pause and laugh).”

“I would like to compose songs from every genre existed, which is why I put the word experiment. Up until now, I succeeded in making classic, electronic and ambient music while jazz, pop, rock and others are not there yet. I feel very enthusiastic about it, especially in producing a blues song.”

“Later on when I have my own full album, I would like to have various genres inside it.”

The light conversation suddenly became a bit serious when Dissa openly stated that he fed up with people who talks only about certain genre or sub-genre. For him, there are only three genre existed which are Art, Popular and Traditional. 

Our conversation did not stop there. We talked about his cancelled plan to visit me here in Malaysia due to some personal reason which I agreed upon. I must say that I am disappointed not going to be able to welcome Jakes and forcing him to play some tunes that made my head goes round and round.

But you know what – at least I succeeded in making my own symphony of Jakesperiment. One young talented artist from my hometown who hang out on the side of the road but still have the capability in producing creative product (in this case, music) and proved that there are a lot of talented people out there in Indonesia regardless their status or education.

Thank you Dissa for letting me write this symphony and see you later!

You can access the Jakesperiment’s music at:

http://inmyroom.us/thejakesperiment/ and http://inmyroom.us/jakesperiment/

His personal page: Jakesperiment


The Jakesperiment: Symphony No. 25 and Their Glories of the Night is supported by Fathan Fitriadi and Prahara Munthe

The Jakesperiment: Symphony No. 26; Die ist scwarz die Rhetorik schwarz, weiss, grau und der Regenbogen is supported by Sanggra Alam (cover artwork), Rizki Agus Wibowo, Rabita Syahbunan & Meity Fitriani (Poem), and special acknowledgement for Bakti Aditya and Fauzia Handayani.

written by Meity Fitriani, 

Kuala Lumpur, 21 January 2011