Looking Back at Andromeda

I wasn’t able to write anything about Andromeda last night because I got home at like 2 in the morning and my eyes were as heavy as an elephant, so I decided to go straight to bed instead. To make do, I’m writing about it right now.

(To give you the big picture, Andromeda stands for An English Department Omni-Gathering Day (despite being held at night); a gathering for English department students in my faculty. I’m one of the publication and documentation department guys and I’ve been busy thinking about it for the last four weeks.)

A photocopied poster for Andromeda.

The event was divided into two phases. I call the first phase “The Ground” because it focused on get-together activities, and the second, “The Stage” because it focused on the audience watching people perform. The Ground began at four. But since only a few people came, the games were mostly played by the committee themselves. One of us even called that the makrab for the committee.

Tug-o-war, one of The Ground activities.

It was getting more crowded after the maghrib break at six o’clock. At seven, The Stage began, and I think this was where the real Andromeda began. The surroundings was awfully dark, but the lighting was sufficient to illuminate the stage. By the time the performance from Class E began, all the seats were filled and some of us even had to stand up. We laid down the carpets so that they can sit down on them. After that, Pak Ari and his wife featuring another lecturer took the stage, performing “Lucky” by Jason Mraz on the acoustics. This received positive feedbacks from the audiences and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.

At 8 o’clock, The Stage continued with an electronic gig from a lecturer (Pak Sandya) with his laptop and his sidekick (his student, actually) with the guitar. They played some weird psychedelic stuff and told us to do some weird psychedelic moves but the audience seemed awkward with it, so their part ended with him saying, “Thank you. It’s psychedelic without psychedelia.”

“Psychedelic without psychedelia.”

The air began to get colder by eight-thirty, when Saturday Night Karaoke went on stage. But the cold didn’t seem to affect the audiences; in fact, a bunch of new people started to come, adding warmth the chilly atmosphere. At nine, Adel and a Friend (not the actual band name) sang a few soft songs fitting to the melancholic mood of the night.

The acoustic performance from Adel.

It was about nine-thirty when Rayhan came. Into the stage he walked, bringing with him two briefcases to the carpet below the stage, unfolding a smorgasbord of effects and pedals for his electric guitar. We were expectant during the lengthy time he took to set up his thingamajigs. However, when he began the first melodic strums in his guitar and began his first song, it stunned us all. We watched in awe as he played around with his guitar effects along with his bandmate, Deon, who mans the computers, creating beautiful loopy, IDM/ambient-esque sounds. It was until this “hyperactive” guy (no offense intended) went on stage and did hilarious things, making a unique funny “visualizer” combined with the music that Rayhan was playing. I realized that the night was cloudless and we could see the starry skies up there, adding a really good atmosphere to the event. His final track, which, quite interestingly titled “Andromeda”, was really a punch in the gut. It was nothing short of beautiful. By this time, we were totally enjoying ourselves—we were sucked into the event, forgetting about the coldness of the Jatinangor air at night.

Reyhan and Deon comes from the band Slylab, a Bandung-based electronic band.

And the night was ten o’clock, leading to the final performance by the GIGOLOS. They closed Andromeda to a very satisfying punchline. We were wondering what GIGOLOS was until they came; by the name some of us thought that they were perhaps an indie band or something. But then found out that they were, in fact, an all-boys Saman dancer. Not regular Tari Saman, though, it was an improvised version of it. They changed the lyrics for the accompanying song and the moves into an extremely amusing comedy-dance hybrid. It was really fun watching them—a really entertaining closing performance.

A hilarious dance from GIGOLOS (no, it’s not that male prostitute sense of the word).

After they left the stage, there it was: Andromeda was finally over. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and despite the exhaustion and drowsiness that could clearly be seen on the faces of the committee, were very happy that the event went as planned. What really made us happy was there was the rain that we worried about at first didn’t fall at all.

The audiences went home, and the committee officially closed the event by having “nasi bungkus” dinner on the carpet together. Having fulfilled our hunger, we had to do another hard work, which was the stage-cleanup. Lights were turned off; speakers, control systems, and other electronic stuff were plugged off.

After everything was cleaned up, some of us went home and the other decided to spend the night there, while keeping the stage safe until its breakdown the next morning.

All photographs taken by me. Full set of Andromeda photos here.

Note: Rayhan came with Deon as two-thirds of Slylab, which Deon—in a Last.fm comment conversation—preferred the duo to be called “Raydeon”.


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