Capturing the Intensity of Music Concerts.

by Ken Jenie


Music plays an essential role in modern life. It’s a loyal friend that comforts people, helping them deal with their daily lives. It is welcomed company in the traffic jams, ushers morning jog sessions, a colleague in the office from 9 to 5. On certain circumstances, music also becomes a passion for some people. Some people make music for a living, others take part in organizing music concerts and others are contributing in their own way – writing about music, attending concerts and photographing the events.

Although it seems like photography has nothing to do with music, the art of capturing pictures hold a central role in the development of music. As a part of the documentation process, music photography gives people the opportunity to take a look at the evolution as well as the history of what happened in the past generations. Proper documentation will provide better context and content to learn as well as reminisce of the old days.

This kind of thought came to the mind of Agung Hartamurti. Having been a part of the BB’s scene, a pivotal moment in Jakarta’s independent music history, Agung had trouble finding the documentation of that era when he needed to revisit those moments. “It was a really special moment for me, but when I want to take a look at that moment again, it’s not an easy thing to do. We don’t have any proper documentation of it. If there are any, it was only a personal documentation, which, of course, couldn’t portray the moment in a precise manner”, Agung said.

Being a photographer since 2007, Agung always had a special interest in music photography. This passion is one of the main reasons when he initiated Irockumentary in 2009. Though it started as a personal hobby, Agung had a clear vision of Irockumentary. Seeing that most music photographers are only interested in photographing big concerts, Agung wanted Irockumentary to focus more on smaller gigs. “Being a part of small gigs myself, I see that it is the place where a lot of interesting things happen, even strange ones. I want irockumentary to be the place that shares those moments for the people who weren’t able to visit the gigs.” To accomplish this idea, Irockumentary dedicated a special session that compiles the photograph of the other side of the main performers. Not only capturing the bands who perform at the gigs, the site always take photographs of the audience to provide a better description of the event. “I hope, by capturing all of the elements in gigs, someday people can see what really happened in certain moments in the scene, maybe they even can see themselves.”

With this concept, Irockumentary became a reliable source of music documentation. The site’s loyal viewers grew, and in addition to that, Irockumentary also became the new standard for music photography. People started to ask for the possibility to have their photo published on the site – something that even Agung did not anticipate. Photographers from around the country applied to have their photos to the site. Recognizing the potential of the website, he then decided to build a bigger community out of it. Most of them are dedicated to the site, making the Irockumentary network grow even larger.

Now, Irockumentary is run by two people, Agung the founder and Hendi, a photographer from Surabaya, and they manage the submission from photographers around the nation. Until now, they handle the site from their laptops, no office. Agung mentioned that he prefers to keep the site on a low key. That he doesn’t want to make Irockumentary a photography forum. He intends to retain the site’s main idea: to be a documentary site as well as an online gallery for music photographers around the country to showcase their works. The only future that is in line with this spirit is to build a better archive system of the website, so that in the forthcoming years, both the public and photographers could have a proper website that provide history of music gigs. “For me, Irockumentary will always be a passion project. But people should know that this passion project expanded my circle of friends as well as built my network into a larger scale. I got a lot of professional work from it, and I’m quite sure that my friends on the site are experiencing the same.”Agung said.

This is the kind of sense that is embraced by Go Ahead People movement. The online community aims to facilitate talents from the country to live their passion. By being a member of this community, people are invited to submit their work of passion through Go Ahead People’s platform so that more people could recognize and appreciate it. Everyone could have their own gallery and showcase.

Not only that, by submitting artworks to Go Ahead People, the members are also given the opportunity to join the Go Ahead Challenge. After the first event last year, the 2015’s Go Ahead Challenge back with a new episode. With the theme “Change the Ordinary”, this years’ event will choose 4 winners from 4 different categories. There will be a winner from this field: visual art, photography, music, and style. The winner will be granted the opportunity to visit art festivals in Melbourne, Australia.

Visit Irockumentary and take a look at Indonesia’s independent music scene.

Visit GoAheadPeople to learn and be part of a creative community.

Photo Credits:
Agung Hartamurti (2,3)
Agra Suseno (4)
Ainur Rasyidah (5)
Denantyo Bagus Wiryawan (6)
Havis Maulana (7)
Rio Annas Dinata (8)
Robby Wahyudi (9)whiteboardjournal, logo