The Jakarta Post
The trickling sounds of Elo River’s stream meeting Progo River create music of its own, joined by noises of nearby insects and rustling leaves. It has become the daily music at Eloprogo Art House in Magelang, Central Java, an art space and homestay facility located right beside the river.
From Oct. 2 to 13, new sounds of distortion, bass and ambient noise came to the area. Nusasonic 2018, held at Eloprogo Art House, was a multinational project that explored the experimental music of Southeast Asia and included concerts, discussions and workshops. The festival was organized by German cultural center Goethe-Institute along with Yogyakarta’s cultural and music curator Yes No Klub, the Philippines’ WSK Festival of the Recently Possible, Singapore’s Playfreely/BlackKaji and Germany’s CTM Festival for Adventurous Music & Art.
In the festival, over 40 artists from Europe, Southeast Asia, Egypt and Iran created a collective laboratory called hacklab that allowed collaborations and explorations of noises and contemporary music. It culminated in a series of performances of the collaborative work at the venue.
Three stages stood among the lush trees by the river and an art gallery was prepped for the event. Performances were elevated with exquisite sounds and lighting. Contemporary music that combined synthesizers, samplers, sound effects, computers and analog instruments created a magical and emotional sound atmosphere.
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Sony Santosa, an artist and owner of Eloprogo Art House said, “This is an extraordinary event, a place where artists of different disciplines could meet up and absorb inspiration as well as the natural music of Elo and Progo Rivers. In turn, they blend all those things with electronic instruments, creating unique compositions.”
Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi of Yogyakarta’s experimental duo Senyawa were among the artists who performed that evening. They contributed to the endlessly interesting sounds from ethnic tones to disco tunes that resonated until morning.
After its inaugural event in Eloprogo Art House, Nusasonic will take a different format and visit Manila, Singapore and the other cities in Southeast Asia in the upcoming years. (wng)