Apr 5, 2007

Who’s the boss in a train’s musician group?

My friend have told me that riding the train everyday makes you meet the same passenger, street-traders (asongan), beggars as well as train’s musicians. This comes to my observation, a train’s musician group who attracts my attention every time they play. They play good dangdut music, skillful as well as serious (they carry all heavy electric equipments). The group’s name is Yunita group as it is written in every property they carried. What makes me interested in observing this group? Once, I saw them arguing each other in front of passengers, some women were scared if the fight really happened. It was over after somebody (later I know him as a group’s leader) made them calm down. Yeah, I missed their show that day.

My question after this fight was who’s the boss? This brought me to observe and conclude the roles of each personnel in the group based on what he/she carry and/or play. The group consists of several personnel based on instruments they play namely rhythm guitar, bass guitar, lead guitar, small drums, hand-percussion (kecrekan) and mixer. Supported personnel are part of the group whose jobs are carrying large speakers, personnel’s guitars and equipments such as batteries. Two female singers are rotating in every song they played.

Assuming that relationship among the group members like a circle, let’s start from the distant one. They are the support personnel; some of them are very young. It is sensible based on their roles in the group, they are still ‘anak bawang’. Perhaps, they expect one day they can upgrade their status as they get more trust from the superior member; they may carry important peripherals such as guitars or mixer.

Next circle is the personnel whose part of the group as a member. They are the singers, drummer, percussionist and rhythm guitarist. Closer circle to the centre are the money collector, the mixing-man and the bassist. The bassist is a quite guy and in some ways he just wants to play music. The money collector plays an important role since he receives and collects the money from the passengers. He might miss use the money if he likes; therefore he builds his important role in the group. The mixing-man is emotional and he seeks acknowledgement from the members. Moreover, his skills using mixer in producing good sounds shows that the group performance would not be enjoyable without him. Lastly, the centre of the groups is the lead guitarist. In terms of experiences and age, I think he deserves to be the leader of this group.
Ok, money collector is coming and it is my turn to give my contribution..

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