Saturday, March 27, 2010

Yesterday's Oboe Class, Orchestra Practice, and the Earth Hour

Yesterday, I again had an oboe practice session with my oboe teacher, Mas Puput. Mas Puput is an oboist from Jogjakarta that has played the oboe since 1990-ish. He plays so skillfully that I somewhat am astonished and therefore keep being motivated to learn the tricky yet exquisite instrument sprightly, so that I can play like him someday.
Besides practicing, I also bought a new reed, because one of my reeds had been broken. Reed is some kind of mouthpiece for woodwind instruments that's mainly made of cane and—as for the oboes'—cork. It's somehow important for an oboist to have more than one reeds, because there's always a possibility that any of your reeds may be broken anytime. And it's surely crucial if it happens when you're playing in a concert and you don't have any other one as a spare. You can actually make a reed by yourself, but making a reed is surely not an easy thing to do—it requires skill, knowledge, promptness, and creativity. Until now, I still buy reeds from Mas Puput. The brand is Rico, American-made. I've bought a Vandoren reed once, but it didn't seem to fit my oboe well. Vandoren, unlike Rico, is a French-made.
After the oboe class, I joined the orchestra practice inside the student hall. We played The Winner Hymn and Prelude (Opera in Four Act from "Carmen"), but I didn't manage to play the second one well. It was very much full with high-pitched notes (most of which are on the third octave) I haven't been proficient enough to play ones.
The practice ended at 15.30. I had been eminently hungry at that time that I hadn't yet had my lunch, so I directly looked for someplace to eat at and went home afterwards.
When I got home and opened my Twitter, it appeared that people had been talking about the Earth Hour recently. Earth Hour is a worldwide movement of people turning their lamps and unused electronic devices off to save the energy and show their awarenesses of the climate change. It started at 20.30 WIB, and ended in an hour. I turned off all the lamps and electronic devices in my whole house, except a TV upstairs, because I wanted to watch the Indonesian Idol at 21.00.
So, overall, yesterday was quite a fatiguing day. But, I'm so glad that I've been given the chance to learn the oboe and play in the orchestra—it's genuinely fun! I also hope that my participation in the Earth Hour did really give an extensively lucrative impact to the earth.
So, those were roughly how I spent my Saturday. What about you, readers? Did you have fun yesterday?

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Hi readers, welcome to none other than Rafika Primadesti's very own house!
Wait, who's Rafika Primadesti anyway?
Well, Rafika Primadesti—I, am an 18 years old peppy-but-not-so-preppy teenage girl living in Jakarta, Indonesia. My friends and relatives usually call me Fika, though. I currently study Economics in the International Undergraduate Program of the University of Indonesia.
Besides being a college student, I also actively take part in this youth community I and my friends established last year called the Indonesian Future Leaders (IFL), which has fortunately become a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) now. I act as the Head of Creative Division and one of the journalists for the website ( there.
Almost every Saturday, I go to Pondok Aren, Bintaro, to teach the underprivileged kids there English for IFL's current project Children Behind Us (CBU). CBU is basically a tool to support the achievements of the first and second points of the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are the extreme poverty and hunger eradication and the universal primary education achievement. The activity is mainly funded by Microsoft and British International School, Bintaro.
Besides studying and teaching, I also play oboe in my university's orchestra, the Mahawaditra Symphony Orchestra. Oboe is a double-reed woodwind instrument that looks very much similar to the english horn, but, well, it's not. I also play classical piano, but I've quit the formal study when I was on the 9th grade in the Yamaha Music School.
I'm very much interested also in pop art, jazz music, and movies. I profoundly hail Miles Davis' works, and am thoroughly stunned by Johnny Depp's and Richard Gere's actings (well, who doesn't?). My most favourite movies are so far Robert Wise's The Sound of Music (1965), Simon Wells' The Time Machine (2002), Michel Gondry's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), Rob Marshall's Nine (2009), and Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes (2009). As for Indonesian movies, until now, there have only been two films that have successfully impressed me: Riri Riza's Petualangan Sherina (2000) and Rudi Soedjarwo's Ada Apa dengan Cinta? (2001). I like movies that not only are entertaining, but also require me to think.
I also enjoy reading very much. One of my favourite books is Johanna Spyri's Heidi. I got the book from my aunt that stayed in Australia in 2005. The book has taught me a lot of precious values of life—determination, strong will, positivity. As for magazine, I have quite a various yet diverse taste: from Teen Vogue to Time. I like reading about current issues as well as taking a closer look at Jennifer Hudson's style on the 52nd Grammy Awards. Fashion's somewhat exciting, I have to admit.
Well, those are more or less some things about me. What about you? :-)