Indonesian pop, folk, noise and electronic post-folk in Paradiso

A Night in Indonesia

with world premieres

Kande, Boi Akih & guests, Jogja Noise Bombing, Senyawa, Filastine & Nova, Sekan

Plunge into Indonesia’s night life. A Night in Indonesia, in Paradiso’s three halls, is a festival in itself, with the best underground and the most intense live performers between Yogyakarta and Amsterdam. Following the example of A Night Under Eastern Skies (Holland Festival 2015), these performances show how Indonesian musicians incorporate traditional elements in pop, folk, noise, or electronics. The band Kande from Banda Aceh combines classic Islamic percussion with Western guitars and Acehnese vocals. The Javanese duo Senyawa makes acoustic metal with traditional vocals from the island of Sulawesi, where singer Rully Shabara grew up. Filastine, with singer Nova Ruth from Malang, is one of the most exciting and engaged electronic post-folk duos at present. Finally, Sekan mixes the finest Indonesian disco, funk and boogie.

Programme

Main Hall

8 pm
Presentatie workshop Jogja Noise Bombing
world premier

8:30 – 9:30 pm
Kande

22:00 – 23:00
Filastine & Nova

Small Hall

8:15 – 9:00 pm
Boi Akih Controlling the Swing 
world premiere

9:30 – 10:30
Senyawa

Basement

9:00 – 10:00 pm
Jogja Noise Bombing

From 10:45
Sekan (Jiwa Jiwa)

Biographies

Jogja Noise Bombing is the name of a collective of musicians inspired by electronica and noise, but it is also the name of a series of festivals and events. The driving force behind it is Indra Menus, who comes from the Yogyakarta punk scene Menus plays in the 

noise band To Die and runs his own record label, Relamati Records. He founded Jogja Noise Bombing in 2009 because there were hardly any venues in the city for the type of music that he and his fellow musicians wanted to play. So he started organising concerts in public spaces, such as a university campus, next to a gym, in former fast-food restaurants and in underground car parks. Any place works as long as they are able to plug in and play. The collective acts as a magnet for the different experimental music scenes in the city, but also for music from much further afield. In addition to musicians, the collective also attracts artists and technicians such as Lintang Radittya, who also shares the DIY punk ethos and who builds synthesisers for groups that play in Indonesia. As well as concerts with appearances from several bands, Jogja Noise Bombing also organises festivals with line-ups featuring local groups and acts from the United States and Asia. You can experience one of their extravagant improvisation concerts in the Paradiso basement. The group will begin the programme in the main room with a short composition for synthesiser orchestra, which they will be performing with participants from their 'Building synthesisers' workshop.

 

Vocalist Monica Akihary and composer and guitarist Niels Brouwer are core members of Boi Akih. Akihary's Moluccan background plays an important role in the duo's work. She writes her lyrics in Haruku, the language of her father. Akihary's vocals share a great affinity with jazz which Niels Brouwer studied as a guitarist at the Hilversum Conservatory of Music. When performing concerts, Boi Akih often collaborate with musicians from the Dutch improvised music scene, such as cellist Ernst Reijseger, bassist Ernst Glerum, trombonist Wolter Wierbos and drummer Onno Govaert. Their latest album Liquid Songs is based on a Moluccan tradition in which old stories that are adapted to the present day are called liquid stories. This process is given musical form with the help of bass clarinettist Tobias Klein and percussionist Ryoko Imai. In the small hall at Paradiso, Boi Akih and these two musicians will be performing Controlling the Swing, a concert about the love-hate relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands, where Moluccan melodies, improvisation, noise and other sounds will all fuse together. Special guests will include the Balinese gamelan player I Made Subandi, peace activist and writer Rudi Fofid from Ambon city and Lintang Radittya of Jogja Noise Bombing. This concert is special because a Javanese, Balinese and a Moluccan will not only be sharing the stage with each other, but also with musicians from Amsterdam.

 

Filastine has had the American drummer, composer, producer and video artist Grey Filastine and the Javanese singer and designer, Nova Ruth in the group since 2010. Before he started working under the name of Filastine in 2006, Grey performed with the Infernal Noise Brigade, a guerrilla street orchestra that appeared at large-scale protest demonstrations against the rich and powerful. He leads a nomadic life and has studied rhythms and made recordings everywhere he has been in the world. During one of these trips, he met Nova Ruth, one half of the Indonesian rap band Twin Sista. Since then they have been working together as a duo. Ruth has a broad musical background. When she was younger, she sang gospels and recited verses of the Quran in mosques. She also plays gamelan. As a duo, Filastine are still very involved in social and political issues, releasing albums with telling titles such as LootDirty Bomb and Burn It. Filastine's music combines contemporary electronic beats with ambient noises, singing, drums and acoustic instruments. Grey describes the style as bass music from a future where the world has been turned on its head, musical traditions based in specific locations have been remixed, and a new city sound has been formed by the rhythmic patterns from the Middle East and meandering melodies from Asia. In addition to music, Filastine use video, design and dance as universal languages to express their vision. They will be performing a show with dancers and other musicians that they have developed specially for the Holland Festival.

 

The music of Kande incorporates many influences such as 16th century Sufism and contemporary rock. The band originates from Banda Aceh, the capital of the province Aceh in Sumatra, located on the most north-westerly point of the island. Their background can be heard in the use of traditional frame drums from Aceh. The frontman of the band, Rafly Kande, originally comes from Singkil in the south of the province. He was a celebrated rockstar in the 1980s. Allegedly, a visit to a mosque marked a turning point in his career. He felt a calling towards a deeper experience of Islam. This has had a significant influence on his music. The songs he performs with Kande deal with peace, the environment and religion in times of violent conflicts. At the end of 2004, a member of his band died in the tsunami in the north of Sumatra following an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. The following year, his band Kande performed in the camps for people who had become homeless as a result of the natural disaster in an attempt to raise their spirits. They have also played charity concerts to raise money for the homeless. Rafly was awarded the title of Aceh Peace Ambassador and has, on behalf of Aceh, been a member of the National Council for Regional Representatives in Jakarta since 2014.

 

Senyawa, a duo from Yogyakarta, is made up of Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi. Singer Shabara grew up in Sulawesi. In his singing, he incorporates extraordinary techniques from the island's vocal traditions as well as growling and grunting sounds from metal. Suryadi plays home-made instruments with names such as 'Garu', 'Bambu Wukir' and 'Akar Mahoni'. The Bambu Wukir is inspired by the tube zithers of the East Indonesian islands: cylinders of bamboo with strings stretched along them. The Bambu Wukir can produce strong percussive sounds as well as delicate, jingling sounds. The Akar Mahoni, which can be played by several musicians at the same time, is made from a single mahogany tree root and combines the neck and strings of an electric guitar with strips of leather that produce bass tones, two theremins and a synthesiser. Suryadi designed the instrument with several builders, including Lintang Radittya. During concerts, the duo use DIY electronics to modify the sounds of the vocals and instruments live. Although Indonesian traditions form the basis of their music, they use playing techniques from experimental genres to create their own special sound. They have been playing together since 2010, when Shabara was invited to share the stage with Suryadi, who was in the middle of a performance at the time, at a festival in Yogyakarta. Four days later, they had already recorded the songs that would feature on their first album. They have played with big names from an international scene of improvisational musicians such as Keiji Haino, Otomo Yoshihide, Trevor Dunn, Oren Ambarchi and David Shea.

 

Jiwa Jiwa is the label and platform of Michiel Sekan, a DJ from Amsterdam, who plays records under his surname Sekan. He is half-Indonesian and is always on the lookout music from the archipelago that stands out, is not very well-known, and is difficult to find: funk, soul, disco, boogie and everything that pushes the boundaries of these genres. His travels through the country of his ancestors awakened his need to share the special sounds he uncovered with the world. Jiwa Jiwa is the Indonesian plural of Jiwa, which means spirit or soul. In his work, Sekan wants to share music that has a message: music that will enrich and cheer the soul. Last summer, he spent three months searching for treasures on Java, digging up obscure disco, rattling funk and psychedelic melodies from the 1970s and 1980s. He came back with bagfuls of cassettes and records, the best tracks from which he will be playing until the early hours.

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Festival focus: music from Indonesia

Following the focus on Turkey and its neighbouring countries (2015) and on the Edges of Europe (2016), this year’s special focus is on music from Indonesia. In the islands, many styles and genres exist next to each other in a fascinating way. We present a selection of contemporary work: noise from the streets of Yogyakarta and

folk from strictly Islamic Aceh, to modern  Indonesian composers. 

We show collaborations which transcend boundaries from artists from different corners of the archipelago. Rahayu Suppangah wrote the music for Setan Jawa, a new silent dance film by Garin Nugroho. Indonesian composers and musicians work with Ensemble Modern from Frankfurt in Ruang Suara. We are presenting A Night in Indonesia in Paradiso, with the latest music from the Indonesian underground, including the electronic post-folk duo Filastine & Nova Ruth and Senyawa’s acoustic metal. At the Holland Festival Proms the visual artist Jompet Kuswidananto is presenting an opera installation about censorship in art. The audience can also enter the Temple of Time by the Indonesian-Dutch composer Sinta Wullur. The context programming explores topics such as Javanese mysticism and joint Dutch and Indonesian historiography. 

Discover the sound of modern Indonesia.

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Credits

performance
Boi Akih, Filastine, Jogja Noise Bombing, Kande, Kenali Rangkai Pakai (Lintang Radittya), Nova Ruth, Sekan (Jiwa Jiwa), Senyawa