Lokananta recording studio
With a seminar/discussion to attend in Yogyakarta this past week about internationalising Indonesia’s music, it seemed obvious to combine this with a visit to Indonesia’s oldest recording studio in Solo, an hour or so commuter train ride away.
Lokananta (379 Jl. Ahmad Yani) was the first Indonesian recording studio, established in 1932 or, depending on which article you read, in 1933. It was established by Radio Republik Indonesia with the aim of archiving radio transcriptions and producing vinyl phonograph records.
It still functions, but at nothing like its full potential given the vested political posturings and bureaucratic procedures initiated since the dawn of reformasi.
One reason I rarely post full articles here as Jakartass is because, as part of IndoJazzia, I am currently engaged in researching ‘A History of Indonesian Jazz‘, intended to be both a film documentary and accompanying book. Lokananta will obviously be a major chapter, even though they have currently only digitalised three jazz albums.
The dedicated and underpaid staff at Lokananta are worthy of much greater respect than that demonstrated by the bloated bureaucracies who, in our experience, rarely return phone calls or respond to correspondence because of their self-imposed ‘regulasi’.
As Jakartass, I close this with one thought: how come some non-Indonesians know and care more for Indonesia’s cultural history than most Indonesians?