“A love poem is a temporary fix. An essay on love might get us through a rough night. A short story about characters that struggle with their feelings taunts us with its shortness and we end up consuming more and more than we should.”
Thus began Murmuration #2, a gathering held by the Murmur House community to celebrate the launch of the second bianual print literary journal Murmuration.
Dwiputri Pertiwi, the journal’s chief editor, continued as she welcomed the guests on Saturday, (May 9), at a cafe in South Jakarta: “This chain of addiction, however, only proves the impact that love has on words and art, and vice versa.”
The theme of their latest edition of biannual journal is “Love and Other Drugs” following their debut issue, “Welcome to Warmth,” which came out last year. For a mere Rp 10,000 donation, the audience were treated to a night of reading and musical performances.
“The main purpose of this event is a readers gathering. We strongly encourage those who have passion in literature to come, share their thoughts and read their favorite works out loud here,” said Ayu C. Kirana, its media relation person.
Founded by Syarafina Vidyadhana and Rain Chudori, the Murmur House community embraces young emerging writers as well as illustrators whose artworks accompany the stories. Its attempt at merging different artforms does not stop there. At Murmuration #2 they announced their collaboration with Kolibri Rekords to celebrate the well-received debut EP, Black Tropics, by Atsea—an instrumental solo project of Omar Prazhari. They are opening submissions to assemble a book of interpretative pieces in the form of poem or prose based on the songs in the album.
“Should love be visceral? Should love be instinctive, instinctual, coming from the gut, deep-down, deep-seated, deep-rooted, inward: emotional? animal?—should love invoke the most primal part of us?,” Ben Laksana, one of the young writers, charmed the whole audience with his piece entitled “the things they don’t teach me about love.”
The mostly young audience kept on coming through the front door and huddled in front of the stage. Some were sitting on the floor, lining up, waiting for their turn to read. The Colour Mellow performed in the first break, and Amygdala closed the party with striking melody. Over 70 guests came to the event and 15 writers read their works throughout the evening.
“I heard about this event from a webmagazine, and it turns out to be really nice. It’s a fresh experience looking at young artists trying to promote whatever it is that they are working on, showing us things they like,” said Cheska, one of the audience.
Another member of the audience, Nick, also had good things to say about the event:“It was really nice to hear poetry and short story reading. Some people were very eloquent. There was a guy who grabbed the attention of the audience – leaving them in silence when he talked. However, there were also readers who seemed lost in the middle – or lost me somehow. I like the last band and the place is also nice.”
The Murmur House won the heart of their millenial audience by throwing a warm and intimate gathering, providing a home for lovers, writers and those passionate about literature and art.
Check out their twitter @themurmurhouse and blog themurmurhouse.tumblr.com to get to know them further.
Read Ayunda’s report on modern fatherhood and follow @ayundanurvi on Twitter.