Keroncong Spektra

One of the rehearsal session at the Haus der Indonesischen Kulturen Berlin, August 2022.

Project Description

In this development project, Bintang Manira Manik and Bilawa Ade Respati investigate the idiom of Keroncong music, the Javanese and Sundanese Karawitan music, as well as the Minimalist music, to create a new work for a duet performance. Keroncong music will be used as a starting point, due to its syncretic nature, which absorbs the instrumentation and idiom of Portuguese music but then develops into something Indonesian through usage and adoption of various traditional elements. The initial research work would also try to find possible instrumentation unique to each of the musicians, from electronics to Javanese Gamelan. Building on top of their materials utilizing voice, guitars, loops, acoustic processing, Javanese and Sundanese percussion and woodwind instruments, they would like to investigate further possibilities of a contemporary sound: a musical sound that embraces inter understanding and intercultural resonance.

Non-western music is easy to be deemed exotic and to be orientalized. However, this view came from a rather colonial and imperialist perspective. In the current political climate, we think artworks that encourage inter understanding, empower, and stimulate new solutions to contemporary life are of high importance. Through this work, we will be challenged to reevaluate and contextualize our native tradition, while at the same time building bridges to a global society. The music that results might render familiar to some while being new at the same time. Moreover, one could find similarity from its “otherness”, thus reflecting on the account of humanity. By investigating tradition and contemporary practice through this project, we can honor tradition at one side, while contributing to contemporary life and progress at the other side.

The development project was done trough the grant given by Amarte Fonds in 2022 with the support of the Haus der Indonesischen Kulturen Berlin.

Music Excerpts

[To be updated.]