Indonesian literature lovers can now enjoy major works on a new medium with the release of Seno Gumira Ajidarma’s Trilogi Insiden (The Incident Trilogy) as audio books.
Trilogi Insiden consists of three of the most well-known of Seno’s works: the anthology Saksi Mata (Eyewitness); the novel Jazz, Parfum dan Insiden (Jazz, Perfume and the Incident); and the essay collection Ketika Jurnalisme Dibungkam, Sastra Harus Bicara (When Journalism is Silenced, Literature Must Speak).
The newly released audio version of the books is expected to generate ripples as it moves through the Indonesian literary world.
The audio book set is published by startup Digital Archipelago, which focuses on digitalizing Indonesian literary works and widening the genre through the production and distribution of audio books.
“The Trilogi Insiden audio version is a milestone in Indonesian audio-book history. We hope that the digitalization of Indonesian literature will be a new breath of air in the cyber-literature field,” said Hristina Nikolic, one of the founders of the startup.
The audio book is available for purchase through iPhone app Buku Audio. The whole trilogy — spanning a total of 17 hours of readings — is sold at Rp 119,000 (US$10,05). Each book from the trilogy can also be purchased for Rp 49,000 each, while each short story is priced at Rp 9,000.
Digital Archipelago has previously released audio versions of the seminal novel of the Communist purge, Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk (The Dancer of Paruk Village) by Ahmad Tohari, which was first published in the 1980’s during the Soeharto era.
Seno said this was the first time his books had been released in an audio format and he was excited at the possibilities it brought about.
“I had help from many friends who were willing to voice my work and provide a different atmosphere for every story,” Seno said.
Production of the trilogy began in the middle of last year and was completed in early 2014. Recording sessions were made at the Kua Etnika studio headed by Djaduk Ferianto in Jogjakarta, the Soeara Madjoe studio headed by Anjar Prabowo in Jakarta and the Antida studio headed by Anak Agung Anom Darsana in Denpasar, Bali.
Sound engineering was done by Gotrek Whitehouse with a number of musical arrangements to accompany the readings by Boris Simanjuntak, Ayu Laksmi and Piotr Komorowski.
The book also features its titular story read by the late respected film director Chairul Umam in a 1994 session recorded by the Jakarta Arts Council.
The novel Jazz, Parfum dan Insiden is read by Landung Simatupang and Seno read his own work in Ketika Jurnalisme Dibungkam Sastra Harus Bicara — each audio book lasts a little over six hours. (Andreas D. Arditya)