Dewa Bujana and Tohpati performance at the JavaJazz Festival last March was the second first class performance of two guitarists on a stage that I have ever seen so far. The first one was Assad Guitar Duo's performance that I watched in 2007. At JavaJazz, the big names of the two guitarists had attracted a sizeable number of music fans who packed a hall at JCC.
Music fans were all happily sitting on the floor, making it easier for everybody to enjoy the show and to take pictures. The low stage arrangement has made it possible for people who sit on the first three rows to watch the musicians comfortably.
Dewa Bujana (left) and Tohpati were both seen quite relax and played flawlessly with their guitars, reaffirming their strong positions in the local music community, be it jazz or pop.
Tohpati was seen exchanging gestures with Dewa. In most of the compositions they changed roles smoothly a couple of times from playing melody to playing rhythm/bass, demonstrated their prowess as top class guitarists.
Dewa was a bit more talkative than Tohpati in building communication with the audience. The compostions they played were taken Tohpati's album, and also from Bujana's, such as Layang-layang.
While music fans normally give more attention and appreciation to vocalists rather than to musicians, the show has proven that even without singers people could enjoy the music and were captivated with just the sound of fingers that were dancing on the strings of guitars.
The audience were sitting and listening intently, and were generous in giving their warm applauses at the end of each of the composition.
Taking photos or videos with cell phones or small digital cameras were quite common these days, thanks to the advancement of the digital technology.
Most, if not all, of the music fans stayed in the hall until end of the performance.
It was definitely a successful show. Dewa and Tohpati have shown their class as two of the most talented guitarists in the country, and have proven that quality music could be produced and appreciated with two pieces of guitars, not only with complete big band and beautiful or handsome singers on the stage.