Ahad, Julai 22, 2012

M. Nasir weaves his magic

taken from NST 22 July 2012

By Nur Aqidah Azizi | nur@nst.com.my

Music maestro Datuk M. Nasir proved that he is in a class of his own at his recent concert with the MPO, writes Nur Aqidah Azizi
Nasir showcased an energetic performance at the concert

HIS voice can be softly caressing or hard-hitting like a cannonball, but whatever it is there’s no doubt that music maestro Datuk M. Nasir is in a class of his own.

By the end of his two-hour performance with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra titled M. Nasir And The MPO recently, M. Nasir proved that he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He had put together  a tightly entertaining show, backed by great musicians from the MPO led by Kevin Field.

It was the first collaboration between M. Nasir and MPO, and the two-night show, which began the night before proved to be a worthy effort.

Andalusia, the Best Song in Anugerah Juara Lagu 1999, was the opening number with a salvo of explosive rhythms in new arrangements, that fused classical and doses of Middle-Eastern sounds. It delivered a totally new experience for the audience.

M. Nasir’s voice soared and together with the MPO, the opening was spectacular, in every sense of the word.

He kept the momentum with Kias Fansuri, a number he composed with lyrics written by the late Loloq, and the new arrangement too was done by Syed Sharir Faisal Syed Hussain.

“The next song that I’m going to perform is a song that I like... because I composed it,” said M. Nasir to the audience in the packed hall who roared in laughter (he wrote all the songs performed that night). And it was fruitful.

Ironically enough, M. Nasir picked the heart-wrenching Keroncong Untuk Ana, which the singer performed full of emotion, reducing some of the fans to tears. The captivating sound of the violin and M. Nasir’s wistful delivery made the performance even more noteworthy.

He then launched into Mustika, a romantic evergreen tune which has been rearranged by Luqman Abdul Aziz. Fans clearly enjoyed the new arrangement as they sang along to the tune.

Bonda, one of the hits taken from Nasir’s fifth album Canggung Mendonan and then Kepadamu Kekasih followed.

The tempo of the night was turned up with Apokalips and a more recent tune, Juwita Citra Terindah.

M. Nasir not only showcased his dancing skills when performing the latter tune, but he also teased some of his female fans — a rare thing from this usually no-nonsense music composer and singer.

“I had dreamt of becoming a dancer and actor, but luck was not on my side... I become an M. Nasir instead,” said the singer who seemed surprised to see fans giving him a standing ovation, after that casual remark which he probably had meant as a joke.

The second segment of the night began with Hati Emas, a popular hit from Kembara, the group which M. Nasir led  before pursuing his solo career.

It was a vigorous performance from the singer, who turned 55 earlier this month. It was impossible to overlook his passion for the music.

Fans loved his energetic vibe and M. Nasir in return, loved the crowd’s response. Once in a while, he took time to shake hands with fans near the stage and that was a lovely gesture.

The ambience of the hall took a different turn as the slow and evergreen tune Suatu Masa filled the hall. Once again, fans were touched by M. Nasir’s delivery of the song, which was dripped with emotion.

But M. Nasir was quick to shift the mood with his next numbers which included Sahabat Gua, Raikan Cinta and the ever popular Mentera Semerah Padi.

And just when the crowd thought the night was over, M. Nasir came back with a smile on his face, enchanting the fans with the affectionate Sentuhan Listrikmu.

But that wasn’t all. He sang the festive-tune Ada to conclude the night.
M. Nasir had never looked so content and as he took his last bow and bid goodnight to the fans. The singer was beaming with satisfaction as all fans stood up to the tune of Ada and danced the night away.
The night reflected Nasir’s 35 years of music legacy and watching him perform through the two hours of classics was a clear reminder of his living legacy.

Jumaat, Julai 20, 2012

Spirit and strings

taken fro The Star 20th July 2012

Popular music culture in Malaysia is revived by two Singaporean lads — M. Nasir and Ramli Sarip.

OUR collective sentimentality (and the thoughtless neglect of our master traditional musicians) aside, there was little, really, to inspire popular music culture in Malaysia post P. Ramlee in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Till the emergence of the “boys from Singapore” – M. Nasir and Ramli Sarip – that is.

In Kembara and Sweet Charity, a ruggedness born of slugging through numberless gigs of trial, the move up North to a kind of artistic exile, combined with the innate musical intelligence and vision of the groups’ front men – M. Nasir and Ramli, respectively – would signal a new and radical direction for popular Bahasa Malaysia music, most notably in the roving adventurism and search for roots which defined the preoccupations of the smartest and most introspective performers of this generation.
Craft and sophistication: M. Nasir performing with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. His songs are as timeless, strong and evocative as they have always been.

Of these, M. Nasir proved especially viable, carving a career for himself that was multidimensional in nature, with forays (apart from his versatile musicianship) into the worlds of film, composition and the business of music. Always astute, he has continued to perform the delicate balancing act of creating for others so that he may keep the best and most spirited for himself.

Following the days after Kembara, and since the release of the brilliant Canggung Mendonan, the songs and albums have been fast, furious, experimental and stylistically eccentric – creating a trove of songs that remain among the richest and most resplendent in the history of popular Bahasa Malaysia music.

Something in the elements must have converged on the twin independence dates of July 4 and 1957 to spark the “spirit” of M. Nasir. “Soul” and “spirit”, the couple energies that urge the traditional Malay notions of artistry have, in M. Nasir’s own words, inspired his own approach to song crafting.

“Music has to have its soul and its own original form. The soul must be strong and the form must be clear. Its form must be able to be heard and to highlight its true original self – the form must be expressed as required by the soul or spirit,” he has stated.

It is a profession of “faith” that was put to test at a two-night concert with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra last weekend to celebrate the 55th year of M. Nasir.

For all the craft and sophistication of M. Nasir’s music, the songs retain an elemental rawness which is their hallmark. Challenged within the settings of the “respectability” which exudes the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the songs emerged as timeless, strong and evocative as they have always been, even as the arrangements and presentation came across, at times, as bewildering, perplexing and lacking quite some common sense.

A revised setlist meant that several classic songs, announced in the original list, were not to be heard, including the spry Kembara classic Express Rakyat, the magical Tanya Sama Itu Hud Hud and the stirring Ghazal Untuk Rabiah.

The concert itself commenced with a remaking of the mystical Andalusia, stripped off its poetical allusions and transformed into a neo-Bolero version not unlike the overwrought standard Granada. For much of the concert, a tension ensued between the essential vitality of the songs themselves and the attempt to make sense of them within an orchestral setting, often resulting in a show tune feel to the arrangements.

Keroncong Untuk Ana, undoubtedly one of the most moving songs in modern popular Malay music, came across as discordant following an introduction by the horn section of the orchestra. It was the melodic irresistibility of the song itself, as well as M. Nasir’s deeply felt vocals that saw the song through.

Bonda, Apokalips and the captivating Juwita Citra Terindah proved the highlights of the evening’s repertoire with clever arrangements and soulful, stirring performances by M. Nasir.

Culminating with the classic Mentera Semerah Padi, also intelligently arranged, the concert nevertheless continued to suffer from a prolonged tension between the earthiness and spiritedness of the material and the restrained control of setting and arrangement.

The Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra itself appeared ill at ease with the material performed and in spite of the best efforts of its animated conductor Kevin Fields, came across more often than not as listless if not completely baffled by the repertoire and its performer. There was little indication that the orchestra empathised with the figure of M. Nasir.

The figure at the centre of it all, still youthful, vigorous and boyish was in luring form – funny, timeless and flawless in voice. But for a few slips of timing and coordination, his was a felt performance.

Perhaps the deepest irony lay in the interpretation of the material itself. It would have been a good stretch of the imagination to have featured a traditional ensemble of gendang, the kind of which regularly accompanies an M. Nasir performance these days, along with the orchestra. The distinct syncopated rhythms, singular to an M. Nasir composition were sadly amiss. Yet, it was in this paradox of voids and vacuums that the deep individuality of the M. Nasir song was in fact enhanced.

A delightfully playful line refrains in the song Apokalips that best encapsulated the evening’s experience: “Ada masanya engkau suka apa yang ku suka…” (There are times, when you like what I like).

Ya, ada masanya (yes, there are times) …

Khamis, Julai 19, 2012

Konsert Kaya Bunyi Sifu

petikan Kosmo! 19 Julai 2012

"BAGAIMANAKAN ku mula dan apakah kata-kata yang indah untuk diabadikan," bait-bait tanya ini sepertinya mengena konkrit dengan situasi konsert Datuk M.Nasir yang diadakan di Dewan Filharmonik Petronas pada 13 dan 14 Julai lalu.

Sebuah suasana dengan degup jantung baharu apabila melihat seorang maestro muzik disandingkan dengan 100 para pemuzik yang rata-ratanya dari luar negara. Bukan hanya sebuah visual mata yang formal buat khalayak, tetapi juga sebuah pengisian yang kaya buat telinga dan hati para pecinta muzik M.Nasir.

Umum maklum bahawa karya-karya seorang M.Nasir yang mesra disapa sifu ini memang kaya dengan bunyi dan estetika. Nah, jadi bayangkan apabila kaya rasa ini digabungkan lagi dengan 100 para pemuzik profesional yang mendendangkan gubahan-gubahan lagu sifu yang telah disusun semula oleh lapan orang penyusun muzik.

Konsert ini dipimpin oleh Konduktor Bersekutu Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Kevin Field. Ini merupakan kali ketiga MPO meraikan muzik penyanyi legenda tempatan selepas Tan Sri SM Salim (2001) dan Datuk Sheila Majid (2010). Ditubuhkan pada tahun 1998, MPO dianggotai oleh 100 pemuzik dan pernah membuat persembahan di Australia, Jepun, Korea, Taiwan, China dan Singapura.

Santun dan tertib dengan 'tauge-tauge' muzik, malam pertama konsert ini terlihat sedikit canggung. Masih belum berkahwin cantik dalam sebuah pelamin yang berprestij dan formal. Rata-rata juga bukan kalangan mendonan terhadap sebuah karya sifu, apa lagi datang dengan sebuah pengharapan yang tinggi terhadap konsert dengan nafas lebih formal dan tertib ini.

Namun apabila masuk ke malam kedua atau malam pengakhiran, bagai habis bahasa bermutu untuk menzahirkan kata-kata terhadap konsert yang memberi sebuah sejarah baru dalam rentetan kembara para penggemar sifu menonton rangkaian konsertnya. Dia layaknya seperti tranduser yang menyalurkan tenaga rasa kepada khalayak yang datang bergaya.

Hilang akal

PEMINAT dihiburkan dengan untaian lagu hebat milik M.Nasir yang mendapat susunan semula daripada lapan orang penyusun muzik.

Ada sebuah teori mengatakan bahawa muzik yang memiliki hubungan emosional paling tinggi dengan seseorang adalah muzik-muzik yang dinikmati ketika orang itu berusia 15 tahun. Muzik yang dinikmati sesudahnya pula tidak akan mampu mencapai tingkatan itu.

Masih belum dapat dibuktikan secara empirik dan masih boleh didebatkan apakah teori ini berlebihan atau tidak. Tapi mungkin ada benarnya bila melihat betapa banyaknya akal yang hilang daripada para penonton yang rata-rata berusia 30 tahun ke atas yang melihat cantiknya'konsert ini berlangsung.

Bertepuk riang, menyanyi bersama dan kadangkala ada yang bangun spontan memberi penghormatan, insiden-insiden ini bukti kepuasan dan hati mereka telah larut terhadap persembahan lelaki yang lahir pada 4 Julai 1957 ini.

Walau kadangkala sifu terarah hilang kata-kata atau lupa lirik mungkin atas faktor sudah terbiasa atau ralit dengan bunyi-bunyian yang kaya, dia dimaafkan kerana mungkin dia seorang sifu.

Apa yang penting, setiap lagu-lagu 'bahagian A' sifu didendangkan dengan jiwa dan kemeriahan rasa beserta bunyi yang tersusun cantik. Kemasan terhadap lagu-lagu indah sifu membawa para penonton ke dalam sebuah kembara rasa dan perjalanan seorang genius muzik.

SESEKALI terlupa lirik, namun perlakuan M.Nasir itu dimaafkan pecintanya kerana ia berjaya ditutup dengan keindahan muzik yang dialunkan oleh pihak MPO.

Sepertinya kalau memejam mata, setiap lagu dapat menzahirkan rasa dan perjalanan emosi. Layaknya juga seperti berada dalam sebuah kembara filem yang jalan ceritanya berdasarkan rasa dan naskhah jiwa setiap mata yang menonton. Intro-intro lagu yang membuahkan pertanyaan tentang lagu apakah yang bakal dimainkan membuai ingatan terhadap filem-filem pecah panggung seperti Star Wars dan yang sebaris dengannya.

Ujar seorang teman wartawan, Syazwan Zakariah yang hadir pada malam kedua konsert M.Nasir, "Sebuah gabungan yang sangat organik dan MPO membawa muzik M.Nasir ke satu tingkat yang berbeza. Kerumitan muzik M.Nasir itu berjaya ditafsirkan oleh muzik orkestra."

Suatu Masa M.Nasir

Antara lagu yang dibuaikan oleh sifu adalah Andalusia, Kian Fansuri, Keroncong Untuk Ana, Mustika , Bonda, Kepadamu Kekasih, Hati Emas, Sahabat Gua dan Sentuhan Listrikmu.

Apa yang menarik dan merempuh rasa adalah penyusunan pada lagu Suatu Masa, nukilan dan gubahan asal M.Nasir. Suasana menjadi senyap sunyi dan sepertinya setiap jiwa yang menonton dibawa terbang ke suatu masa yang hanya mereka yang mengetahui.

RAMAI peminat M.Nasir berharap untuk menonton beberapa siri konsertnya lagi selepas ini.

Suasana kontemporari dirasakan pada lagu Juwita Citra Terindah dan Mentera Semerah Padi. Ada kalanya sifu seperti tidak sabar menukar gear tinggi untuk beberapa lagu dan menari-nari kecil sebelum mula naik minyak atau kata slanga 'naik syeikh' untuk menyanyikan lagu-lagu yang dipilih.

Diselitkan beberapa lawak jenaka dan pengalaman cerita di antara lagu, antaranya kata M.Nasir, "Dahulu cita-cita saya mahu jadi pelawak atau penari. Tapi nasib saya tidak baik, saya jadi M.Nasir."

Konklusi sebuah kembara, ini merupakan sebuah konsert yang antaranya akan dibawa dalam ingatan terhadap gabungan dua tenaga. Sinergisme sifu dan MPO mungkin boleh diteruskan lagi pada masa-masa akan datang dengan persediaan yang lebih rapi dan ruang masa yang lebih lama bagi menghasilkan sesuatu yang boleh disebut sempurna.

Bagi penonton yang hadir, pasti ini adalah sebuah momen yang akan disimpan dan mengharapkan sifu bakal beraksi gah lagi di pentas-pentas yang berbeza. Gagah dan tampan, bagaikan si jantan yang berkokok, pentas MPO telah disaksikan dengan mentera sifu kepada semua sang pencintanya.

Di sebalik orkestra

petikan Utusan Malaysia 19 Julai 2012

LARUT dalam mainan emosi, M. nasir mahu bersatu dalam keindahan alunan yang dimainkan pemuzik Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

SEMEMANGNYA 'sifu' yang satu ini sedari awal sudah menyedari bahawa menyanyi dengan iringan orkestra bukanlah satu kerja yang mudah. Banyak cabaran dan rintangan yang dihadapi jika ingin menyanyi dengan iringan pemuzik orkestra, tidak kira sehebat mana sekalipun status seniman seseorang itu.

Mereka perlu membuat persediaan rapi kerana ia amat berbeza disebabkan lagu-lagu digubah mengikut kesesuaian orkestra.

Tanpa persediaan rapi atau latihan yang cukup, si penyanyi akan kelihatan terpisah daripada muzik yang dimainkan oleh ahli orkestra, tambahan pula jika ia diadakan di Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP).

Untuk mengelak suasana itu terjadi, penyanyi perlu peka terhadap susunan muzik baru dan tahu bila masanya untuk menyanyi kerana persembahannya diiringi oleh orkestra bertaraf dunia.

Tan Sri S.M Salim dan Datuk Sheila Majid pernah mengadakan persembahan di DFP pada tahun 2001 dan 2010 serta mendapat sambutan hangat.

Terbaru, penyanyi yang diberi penghormatan mengadakan persembahan di DFP sebagai penutup tirai musim konsert 11/12 adalah Datuk M.Nasir.

Konsert M.Nasir yang dipimpin oleh konduktor bersekutu MPO, Kevin Field berlangsung selama dua hari bermula 13 Julai lalu.

"Rasa bertuah dapat mengadakan persembahan di sini setelah sekian lama menunggu. Saya harap anda tidak kisah dengan penampilan saya sebegini," gurau M.Nasir sewaktu awal kemunculan di pentas.

M.Nasir, 55, memulakan persembahan dengan lagu Andalusia yang digubah semula muziknya oleh Syed Shahrir Faisal Syed Hussain.

Lain-lain penggubah untuk 17 buah lagu yang didendangkan sepanjang konsert selama dua jam termasuk 20 minit waktu rehat adalah Datuk Mokhzani Ismail, Luqman Aziz, Vivian Chua, Ahmad Muriz Che Rose, Leonard Yeap, Loo Shu Chin dan Ruslan Imam.

Selasa, Julai 17, 2012

Aura Sifu M Nasir tawan peminat

taken from Sinar Harian 17 Julai 2012

Gayanya bersahaja, namun lagaknya mampu mengalahkan orang muda. Begitulah hebatnya, M Nasir atau nama sebenar beliau, Datuk Mohamad Nasir Mohamad, ketika beraksi di pentas berprestij, Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP).

Ternyata dalam usia yang kini menjangkau 55 tahun, auranya masih hebat dan mampu menawan penonton.

Malah, penyanyi kelahiran Singapura ini sememangnya cukup istimewa di hati peminat.

Tidak hairanlah mengapa ramai yang sanggup membelanjakan sejumlah wang semata-mata untuk menonton konsert, M Nasir with The MPO yang berlangsung selama dua hari berturut-turut di pentas berprestij itu.

Auranya dapat dirasakan sebaik sahaja beliau melangkah masuk ke dewan. Di saat itu, kedengaran tepukan dan sorakan gemuruh daripada peminat.

Tanpa membuang masa, beliau membuka persembahan dengan barisan lagu-lagu berhantunya, seperti Mustika, Hati Emas, Apokalips dan Andalusia.

Malah, ia diserikan lagi dengan beberapa buah lagu yang telah digubah dalam bentuk medley seperti Sang Pencinta, Impian Seorang Nelayan, Nusantara dan Ekspres Rakyat .

Ketika itu, penonton terpaku seketika untuk sama-sama menghayati setiap bait-bait lagu yang disampaikan. Suasana dewan yang sepi, jelas menunjukkan penonton bersama-sama menjiwai persembahan beliau malam itu.

Suasana bertukar meriah apabila beberapa lagu hit seperti Mantera Semerah Padi, Juwita Citra Terindah dan Sentuhan Listrikmu dinyanyikan.

Menariknya, di akhir konsert, beliau menyampaikan lagu Ada, yang mana ketika ini semua penonton berdiri, bertepuk tangan dan menyanyikan lagu tersebut bersama.

Tidak dapat dinafikan lagi, dalam usia yang lebih separuh abad, kemantapan vokal dan tenaga beliau masih sama seperti di awal pembabitan dalam bidang seni.

Selain itu, beliau juga bijak berinteraksi bersama peminat. Bahkan, suasana dewan menjadi gamat dengan gelak tawa penonton apabila M Nasir menghiburkan mereka menerusi lawak spontan beliau.

Secara keseluruhannya, persembahan beliau pada malam itu benar-benar menghiburkan serta menakjubkan.

Muzik akustik MPO

Diiringi alunan muzik Orkestra Filharmonik Malaysia (MPO) daripada 100 pemuzik berpengalaman yang diterajui Konduktor Bersekutu, Kevin Field, nyata persembahan M Nasir membuai perasaan dan emosi penonton.

Dengan kehadiran pemain biola dan saksofon, persembahan tersebut menjadi lebih segar dan dramatik.

Jelas M Nasir, beliau sudah lama menantikan saat itu sepanjang bergelar anak seni.

"Memang saya berhasrat untuk mengadakan sebuah konsert yang diiringi satu kumpulan orkestra yang besar .

"Dengan suasana dewan yang cukup sesuai untuk muzik akustik, saya mahu ia menjadi penghargaan dan hadiah kepada peminat," katanya.

Bijak memilih lagu sepanjang persembahan membuatkan penonton tidak bosan menonton konsert yang mengambil durasi selama dua jam itu.

Menurut M Nasir, konsert itu diharap dapat memberi pengalaman berbeza dalam lagu-lagu yang dipersembahkannya.

“Kebanyakan lagu yang dipilih adalah koleksi lagu lama saya. Setiap lagu ini pula mempunyai identiti tersendiri saya.

"Jadi, saya membuat keputusan untuk menyampaikan lagu yang memperkenalkan nama saya pada awal kemunculan sehinggalah ke hari ini,” kata beliau yang teliti dalam memilih lagu setiap kali mengadakan persembahan.

Persiapan selama setahun

Dapat mengikut jejak Tan Sri Datuk SM Salim (2010) dan Datuk Sheila Majid (2011) mengadakan persembahan di DFP sudah menjadi satu impian buat M Nasir.

Menurut beliau, hasratnya itu muncul setelah menyaksikan konsert SM Salim pada tahun lalu. Tidak menyangka, ia akhirnya dapat direalisasikan. Beliau bekerja keras demi memastikan persembahannya berjalan dengan sempurna.

"Ini adalah impian saya sejak dahulu lagi. Bukan mudah untuk mendapat tempat mengadakan konsert di sini.

"Segala persiapan, saya sudah lakukan sejak setahun lalu.

"Jadi, saya mahu peminat merasa dan mendapat sesuatu yang istimewa daripada konsert ini," jelas M Nasir yang mengambil masa selama 10 hari menjalani latihan bersama MPO.

Bakal ke Singapura

Berita baik bagi peminatnya di Singapura, M Nasir kini turut dalam perancangan untuk mengadakan persembahan istimewa di negara itu, pada tahun hadapan.

Menurut M Nasir, beliau berharap konsert tersebut dapat mengubati rindu peminatnya di sana.

"Saya harap ia dapat direalisasikan dalam masa terdekat. Apa pun, saya masih dalam perancangan untuk melakukannya," katanya yang pernah mengadakan Konsert Canggung di Stadium Negara (1994), Konsert Akar di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (1995) dan Konsert Alam Muzik di Istana Budaya (2009).

Mengimbas pembabitan beliau dalam bidang seni, bekas graduan Diploma Seni Lukis dan GCE ‘O’ Level di Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapura ini memulakan kariernya bersama Kembara dan menghasilkan empat album pada awal 1980-an.

Kemudian, beliau bergerak secara solo pada tahun 1989 dan melahirkan tujuh lagi album solo.

Sepanjang penglibatan dalam bidang seni, beliau menerima pelbagai anugerah seperti Anugerah Juara Lagu (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000 dan 2012), Festival Filem Malaysia (1984 dan 1990), Anugerah Skrin TV3 (1997), Anugerah Industri Muzik (2001 dan 2002), Anugerah Planet Muzik (2001), selain memenangi kategori Bintang Paling Popular pada Anugerah Bintang Popular (1994).

Beliau turut dianugerahkan pingat Ahli Mangku Negara pada 1996 dan Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang pada 2011 yang membawa gelaran Datuk.

Pada masa sama, beliau juga adalah insan yang bertanggungjawab di sebalik kejayaan penyanyi terkemuka tanah air seperti kumpulan Search, Wings, Ella dan Ziana Zain.

Isnin, Julai 16, 2012

Bukan senang nyanyi dengan MPO

petikan Harian Metro
Oleh Roslen Fadzil
roslen@mediaprima.com.my/ roslenmetro@yahoo.com
KETIKA ini banyak konsert dan persembahan hiburan dianjurkan sebelum umat Islam di Malaysia dan juga di seluruh dunia memasuki bulan puasa.

Seperti yang selalu berlaku, semua persembahan itu perlu dibereskan sebelum datangnya Ramadan kerana pada bulan yang mulia itu nanti muslimin dan muslimat ingin memperbanyakkan amalan ibadah terutama pada sepanjang malam.

Dengan erti lain, acara yang berbentuk hiburan yang keterlaluan eloklah dihentikan bagi menghormati kedatangan Ramadan dan begitulah yang selalu terjadi. Malah sikap saling menghormati daripada mereka yang bukan Islam juga sering terpancar dalam masyarakat majmuk di negara kita.

Minggu lepas saja, banyak persembahan dianjurkan di pentas terbuka selain dewan tertutup terutama di Lembah Klang. Ada konsert superstar Barat, Justin Bieber bersama bintang K-Pop, Jay Park serta konsert biduan tempatan seperti Ramli Sarip dan Datuk M Nasir.

Tidak semuanya yang sempat saya ikuti kerana hambatan tugas namun salah satu yang sempat saya ikuti adalah konsert M Nasir di Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP), KLCC, pada Jumaat lalu.

Agak lama juga saya tidak menyaksikan persembahan bekas vokalis trio Kembara itu. Kali terakhir melihat kelibat M Nasir adalah melalui pertandingan Mania di Astro apabila dia menjadi ikon di situ bersama Ahmad Dhani dan Aubrey Suwito.

Lantaran itu, apabila mendengar buat julung kali M Nasir akan menyanyi bersama Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) pimpinan Kevin Field, ia sesuatu yang tidak harus dilepaskan. Kita maklum, bukan semua penghibur di Malaysia berpeluang menyanyi dengan MPO sejak ia dicetuskan dan antara yang saya ingat adalah Tan Sri SM Salim, Datuk Sheila Majid, Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, Aishah dan Lah Ahmad.

Pada malam pertama saya ke konsert M Nasir itu, dewan prestij berhemah itu ‘full house’. Kata jurucakap DFP, ramai peminat membeli tiket pada saat-saat akhir selepas ada juga yang berusaha mendapatkan tiket secara undangan. Itu perkara biasalah.

Melihat sambutan itu kata PRO tadi, sekurang-kurangnya usaha DFP yang mahu mendidik masyarakat Malaysia membeli tiket untuk melihat konsert artis sendiri dalam suasana elit, mula berhasil. Saya difahamkan, tiket konsert M Nasir itu berharga antara RM98 dan RM358. Apa yang membanggakan, persembahan pada kedua-dua malam itu ‘sold out’. Untuk itu, syabas diucapkan.

Akan tetapi saya hairan kerana sangat sedikit bilangan artis kita yang pergi menonton. Selebriti yang saya tengok datang pun hanyalah Misha Omar, Datuk Ramli MS, Adibah Noor dan Datuk DJ Dave (malam kedua). Mana perginya yang lain yang selama ini asyik melaungkan M Nasir kononnya ‘tok guru’ mereka termasuk juga bintang-bintang realiti TV? Di manakah sokongan artis muda seperti itu?

Kalau datang, mereka bukan saja dapat bernostalgia dengan lagu M Nasir namun sekurang-kurangnya mereka boleh menilai sendiri betapa susah hendak boloskan diri ke pentas DFP dan berdiri sama tinggi dengan konduktornya. Ada kriteria tertentu yang dinilai dan pastinya ia berkaitan bakat dan pencapaian seseorang anak seni itu.

Inilah waktunya untuk artis-artis muda kita yang kencang dengan ‘show’ mengorbankan sedikit wang mereka untuk menggali ilmu dan memerhati kemampuan biduan dan biduanita negara menyanyi dengan orkestra bertaraf antarabangsa seperti MPO. Maaf cakap, kesedaran ini belum menyerlah. Apabila dikritik, maka mulalah mereka ‘tarik muka 14’.

Saya tidaklah mahu mencoret secara ‘’detail’ corak persembahan M Nasir bersama MPO itu. Secara keseluruhan saya akui saya terpana dengan persembahannya dalam kebanyakan lagu seperti Suatu Masa, Mustika, Sahabat Gua, Di Balik Cermin Mimpi dan lagu jampi, Mantera Semerah Padi. Memang M Nasir benar-benar bersatu dengan orkestra itu. Lebih daripada itu, ada gubahan lagu yang saling tidak tumpah seperti skor muzik filem Hollywood.

Dari segi persembahan juga, semuanya sudah menjadi lain, bagi disesuaikan dengan gubahan skor MPO. M Nasir sendiri lebih banyak menyanyi secara improvisasi menjadikan konsert itu kadangkala terarah kepada eksperimentasi.

Malah ada masanya M Nasir berdepan dengan situasi yang sulit dan mencabar kerana cuba bersatu dengan skor MPO yang berbeza daripada apa yang kita dengar dalam albumnya mahupun konsert-konsert biasa. Pada malam pertama, keperitan M Nasir itu terlihat dalam lagu Kepadamu Kekasih.

Ringkas kata, saya memang gembira kerana menjadi sebahagian daripada peminat setia M Nasir yang sempat menonton konsert itu. Sekurang-kurangnya M Nasir sudah menghadiahkan saya sesuatu yang cantik pada malam ulang tahun hari kelahiran saya pada 14 Julai lalu, 10 hari selepas ulang tahun hari kelahirannya sendiri - roslenmetro@yahoo.com/ roslen@mediaprima.com.my

Jumaat, Julai 13, 2012

Sifu’s touch of symphony

taken from NST 13 July 2012
Only the third local artiste to be given the honour to perform at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, M. Nasir promises a performance unlike any in his 35-year career, writes Hizreen Kamal

M.Nasir performing with the Yayasan Warisan Johor orchestra in Johor Baru last year

HE has shaped and influenced the local music scene for the past 35 years, sealing his status as a well-respected music maestro.
The music fraternity calls him Sifu (master), a title that comes with big responsibilities and expectations. Clearly, the renowned singer and composer Datuk M. Nasir who just turned 55 last week, has survived the test of time.
He boasts an endless list of hits to his name, sell-out and notable solo concerts like Konsert Canggung at Stadium Negara (1994), Konsert Akar at Putra World Trade Centre (1995) and Konsert Alam Muzik at Istana Budaya (2009), besides garnering a string of industry awards.
Beginning from his early days as part of the group, Kembara, in the early ‘80s (which saw the release of five albums namely Kembara, Perjuangan, Generasiku and Seniman Jalanan), he embarked on a solo career in 1989 with the launch of his debut album aptly titled Solo.
He then went on to release six successful albums (Solo, Saudagar Mimpi, Canggung Mendonan, Srikandi Cintaku, Phoenix Bangkit and Sang Pencinta), besides composing songs and producing albums for artistes such as the Alleycats, Rahim Maarof, Search, Wings, Hattan, Misha Omar and Jamal Abdillah, turning them into a music force to be reckoned with.
His compositions include Hingga Akhir Nanti (Alleycats), Fantasia Bulan Madu (Search) and Sejati (Wings) as well as Mustika, Mentera Semerah Padi, Juwita Cinta Terindah and Tanya Sama Itu Hud Hud.  
With his laid-back, no-nonsense attitude, the entertainer — known for his trademark rugged looks (although he’s chopped off his long Bohemian-esque locks) — continues to remain relevant to this day with a huge fan base cutting across all ages and backgrounds.

Awan Nano, M. Nasir’s recent composition for Akademi Fantasia (AF) 7 champion Hafiz followed his 2005 stint as AF Season 3 principal and subsequent collaboration with the show’s winner Mawi  on Aduh Saliha. It shows the process of change that he has undertaken, which received the support of fans old and young.
“Honestly, I enjoy working with new acts. I like changes that come with disciplines. For example, an artiste who was big in the ‘80s with many hits, should be enjoyed by those of that era. Things won’t change even if I come out with a song for that particular artiste. People would still want to hear the artiste’s old hits that made him big in the first place.
“We have to move with the times. For example, classical music is not everyone’s cup of tea,” he says.
As owner of production and publishing house as well as recording studio Luncai Emas, he also dabbled in film production in 1997 with the movie Merah.
M. Nasir can now look back on all his achievements with a satisfied smile but he feels he still has a long way to go before he truly leaves an indelible mark in the industry.

Ask him what he considers his greatest achievement so far, and you’ll find him struggling for an answer. Instead, M. Nasir has this to say: “Every day I wake up and think about ways to create something better and different to benefit the industry.”
A man of few words, he  takes his time before answering my questions. Going by his answers, everything he has done throughout his career seemed effortless.
“Music has been my passion from the beginning and one thing which I enjoyed was taking risks in all my projects. These included live performances as well as recording tracks in the studio,” he says.
“I am very spontaneous by nature and when I feel like I need to do something, I just do it. So far, many of my attempts at spontaneity have been fruitful.”
Things, however, didn’t always turn out the way he’d expected.   “You just have to pick yourself up and move on. There is always another song and another performance to work on. Experiences, good or bad, help make you a better person,” he adds.

Although M. Nasir may have done it all, there is one  thing that he has always wanted to take on but never had the opportunity to do so. Well, not until now.
Tonight and tomorrow night, he is embarking on his first collaboration with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO).
Aptly titled M. Nasir And The MPO, it is the most awaited showcase to conclude Dewan Filharmonik Petronas’ (DFP) 11/12 season.
The concert, to be held at the DFP at 8.30pm, will see M. Nasir performing more than 20 of his most popular and evergreen hit songs throughout his career, which have made him a living legend.
The 90-minute performance will be led by MPO associate conductor Kevin Field.
The audience will be treated to MPO’s interpretations of Kias Fansuri, Sahabat Gua, Apokalips, Juwita, Ghazal Untuk Rabiah, Andalusia, Bonda, Kepadamu Kekasih, Sentuhan Listrikmu, Ada, Di Balik Cermin Mimpi, Hati Emas, Keroncong Untuk Ana, Mentera Semerah Padi, Mustika, Raikan Cinta and Suatu Masa, among others.
The songs have been given new arrangements by Ahmad Muriz Che Rose, Vivian Chua, Datuk Mokhzani Ismail, Luqman Abdul Aziz, Ruslan Mohd Imam, Loo Shu Chin, Leonard Yeap Lin Soon and Syed Sharir Faisal Syed Hussain.
The other two artistes who have performed on the DFP stage include traditional singer Tan Sri SM Salim (2001) and R&B/pop entertainer Datuk Sheila Majid (2010).
M. Nasir says:  “This is nothing like any of my previous solo concerts. The interpretation is sure to be different from  the original and the audience will enjoy the lush and grandeur sounds by the MPO. I think my fans have been waiting for this collaboration with bated breath and they will see me performing without electric musical instruments.
“Since my music features Malay drums, I’ve been given the go-ahead to bring in Malay drummers. There will be traditional instruments like rebana, gendang, percussion and flute.”  
Collaborating with a symphony orchestra has its challenges.
“It can be a little overwhelming for some but it is a challenge that I am eager to take,” he says.
“This collaboration is a benchmark in my career. I’d like to achieve a certain standard of performance especially after performing for 35 years and this may just be it. What I can say is that audience will see a different  M. Nasir,” he says, adding that his nerves are already “acting out” and he is feeling the gush of excitement to perform at a venue specially designed for acoustics performances.
When asked which of his compositions he considers his masterpiece, he says: “I don’t know. There isn’t one I’d consider perfect. Every song has its flaws. But I felt really good when I composed Fantasia Bulan Madu. It just  happened spontaneously and if you noticed, it did not have a proper intro. Who knew it was going to be a hit!”
Next year, he has plans for a nationwide tour which will include Singapore.

Having starred in the 1986 musical drama Kembara Seniman Jalanan (which he co-wrote) directed by Nasir Jani, M. Nasir plans to get more actively involved in films within the next five years. This time, he will remain behind the camera as a producer.
A fan of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy (he only counts I and II as his favourites though), he was last seen as the wizardry Tasik Chini elder in the musical comedy Magika. In the past he had played a wide range of roles — from a romantic leading man (Selubung) to a legendary warrior (Puteri Gunung Ledang) as well as smaller parts in Fenomena, Balada, Simfoni Duniaku and Merah.
These days, M. Nasir says, he is more picky  about his roles. He says: “I want to play a character with a strong purpose in a story, one who will leave a mark in the plot development.”

M. Nasir And The MPO
Dates and time Today and tomorrow at 8.30pm  
Venue:  Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC
Ticket Prices Between RM98 and RM358
Box Office Hours Tuesdays to Saturdays: 10.30am - 6.30pm, 9pm on performance nights
Telephone Bookings 03- 2051 7007
Fax Bookings
03- 2051 7077
Email Bookings
DFP/MPO Websites
www.mpo.com.my and www.dfp.com.my

Rabu, Julai 11, 2012

M. Nasir collaborates with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra

taken from The Star 11 July 2012 By N. RAMA LOHAN

It’s still fairly new territory but Nusantara legend M. Nasir is rubbing his hands with glee for his collaboration with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

HE may come from the generation of fans who was privy to the age of musical exploration – the 1960s, when musical styles first began to mesh in tune – and listened to Deep Purple’s Concerto For Group And Orchestra, and seen albums like Metallica’s S&M and Scorpions’ A Moment Of Glory infiltrate popular music in the last two decades – but Datuk M. Nasir’s collaboration with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) is just like what the man says it is: “It’s just me playing with an orchestra.”

The freshly-turned 55-year-old (his birthday was on July 3) rarely overstates his ambitions, and it’s no surprise that he sees the shows on July 13 and 14, aptly titled M Nasir & The MPO, as merely another bunch of performances, but ones he’s pretty thrilled about, given the setup. Like the albums by the rock giants of the West, his close encounter of an orchestral kind at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) is expected to turn heads.

During a recent interview, the singer/songwriter/actor admitted that some of his music inherently possesses a symphonic quality. “I’m not sure how this will all sound, but I’m looking forward to it. This is a great and beautiful opportunity for me,” he enthused, revealing that this would be a chance for his fans to see him in a unique setting.

Risky business: Music icon M. Nasir is explicitly aware that his collaboration with MPO is a gamble, but it’s still one he is relishing.

Nasir is the third in a sequence of legendary local artistes who have plied this route, Tan Sri SM Salim being the first to work with the MPO in 2001, followed by Datuk Sheila Majid two years ago. “I don’t really know the criteria for the selection of artistes, but I’m glad I’ve been chosen,” he shared of his gig, adding that the idea was not his. He acknowledges that while the quality control at DFP is very high, it bodes well to see the hall opening its doors to a wider palette of music.

While East-meets-West endeavours have proliferated for decades now, it has continually attracted its detractors. Certain quarters believe the inclusion of an orchestra into the repertoire would desecrate the sanctity of the Nusantara fundamentals of his music. Nasir, though, is single minded that this is not a case of two separate entities being forced together. Rather, it is a fusion of two musical styles from the ground up.

“The challenge is to make this work. It’s not a case of me plus the orchestra, but a process where the music is arranged as a symphony. I’ve worked with the MPO before, but not in this capacity. Not many people have had the chance to experience something like this, so it will be up to us to make the audience like it,” he explained, adding that the orchestra setup apart, the 100-plus member ensemble will also include two musicians playing the Malay drums and flute, respectively.

MPO Associate Conductor, Briton Kevin Field, who also helmed Sheila’s performance, leads the MPO for Nasir’s show. Purists have questioned his credentials in interpreting music that’s not native to him. Nasir is explicitly aware that the professional environment in which classical musicians operate will see Field sailing through his “assignment”. “They (classical musicians) read music, what could be the problem?” noted the former Kembara man with a laugh.

And when pressed to explain how Nusantara melodies would be evoked from a violin, for instance, the music legend put things into sharp focus: “The instruments make the melodies. It doesn’t really matter whether they’re traditional or otherwise.” But he does admit to being clueless as to who the audience would be for a show of this nature, conceding that they would probably be fans of his music.

Speaking of his music, the 20-odd songs expected to get the roll call for the two-hour shows include gems like Kias Fansuri, Sahabat Gua, Apokalips, Juwita, Ghazal Untuk Rabiah, Andalusia, Bonda, Keroncong Untuk Ana and Mentera Semerah Padi. The choice of song was not only of Nasir’s own preference, but also based on general consensus.

Despite it being a show at DFP with the MPO, he doesn’t view this set of shows as any more prestigious than his other shows. “The only difference is in the sound and tone.”

It’s a common place for shows of this persuasion to include guest artistes, but the singer was quick to pour cold water on any such speculation. “This is my adventure, so there are no collaborations – no surprises,” he said of the shows, which might make it into a DVD.

Nasir’s 35 years in the music industry has seen him scale some lofty heights. The multi-talented artiste, who has a keen love for painting, received his Diploma in Western Painting at Singapore’s Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts in 1978. He then went on to lead his band Kembara through four albums in the 1980s before striking it out on his own with the cheekily titled Solo album in 1989. To date, he has seven solo albums tucked under his belt and has also produced albums for numerous artistes.

Nasir has garnered numerous accolades for his works in music and movies: Anugerah Juara Lagu (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000 and 2012), Anugerah Industri Muzik (2001 and 2002) and Anugerah Planet Muzik (2001); Malaysian Film Festival (1984 and 1990) and Anugerah Skrin TV3 (1997). In fact, in the pipelines is a fiction-based movie idea, which Nasir is hoping to produce, details of which he isn’t able to divulge at the moment.

He is philosophical of his successes though. “I never dwell on the past. I get up everyday and think how I can make something better than the last thing I did.” It’s this forward-thinking psyche that has taken Nasir places, likewise his risk-taking nature, which he insists has served him well in career and life.

Nasir’s involvement in the music industry for more than three decades has accorded him the clout to call a spade a spade, but he sees the condition of the Malaysian music scene as nothing more than a mirror of global developments. “There hasn’t been a significant movement in a while, not since the days of alternative rock in the 1990s ... there’s just nothing that’s really making an impact. We’ve lost a sense of idealism. There are no more full albums here, or concept albums that are trying to say something. Music is only for the youth,” he lamented, agreeing that music marketing has changed for the better in the way people listen to music, what with ring tones and downloadable music.

But for the industry to get back on an upward scale, he reckons artistes should never stop trying to push the envelope, just like he has all these years.

And realising this orchestral excursion, is the proof of the pudding.

M Nasir & The MPO will be staged at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas (DFP) on July 13 and 14 and showtime is 8.30pm. Tickets are priced from RM98 to RM358. For more info, call 03-2051 7007 or visit mpo.com.my   dfp.com.my.