Friday, May 28, 2010

Gamelan Mendunia

While in Holland last week I was interviewed by the Joss Wibisono ( of Radio Netherlands' world service. Others interviewed were Indonesian composer Franki Raden and Dutch composer Sinta Wullur. The programme is available in both transcript form and also as a podcast at

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tong-Tong Festival

I attended the Tong-Tong Festival again on 22 May in the company of my friend the anthropologist Robert Wessing.

I have been visiting the Tong-Tong Festival, formerly known as the Pasar Malam Besar, with some regularly since 1998. It is a major site for transnational Indonesian performance, a research interest of mine, a contact zone which involves cultural experts; performers from Indonesia and Europe; vendors of crafts, food, service; and the general public. 'The pasar' underwent a name change in 2008 which signals an attempt to move away from the nostalgic mode of 'tempo doeloe' towards a celebration of multi-culturalism and Asia in the world.

Some of the familiar parts of the pasar have been disbanded - there is no dedicated wayang theatre any more. There is definitely less of an emphasis on academic talks on indonesian subjects. There has not been an auction of art and antiques from Indonesia for a decade. The Nusantara Museum (Holland's museum of Indonesia) this year did not have a stand. (It had a stand at every other pasar I have attended.)

I attended two full performances on 22 May - 'Call Me Nyai Ontosoroh' a play from the Jakarta-based theatre company Pentas Teater based on Pramoedya's Bumi Manusia, and a fusion concert of Cianjuran meets tabla and jazz piano.

The former was a fairly straight 'read' of Pramudya. A small cast (4 performers) enacted the narrative of Minke's marriage to a Eurasian woman again a backdrop of seppia-tinted moving images. The actors were amplified and generally melodramatic in delivery, in the style of pre-1990s Indonesian film or sandiwara. English supertitles were projected in very small letters above the stage. Audience members came and went during the performance, which lasted about 80 minutes.

The Cianjuran (kecapi/suling/vocal) concert was also a mixed success. The playing was polished, but balance was an issue. The piano overwhelmed the other instrumentalists on many occasions and seemed unable to accompany the singer. As a result is was less fusion than a Charles Ives like juxtaposition of different musical forms.

I also attended a delightful 'straat' performance of kroncong group Jawara - which was hawking its CDs to 'pay for the cost of transport back to Jakarta' in the words of one of their singers, and saw briefly a 'modern kroncong' group on the main stage.

Robert and other friends reported that the Tong-Tong Festival has been experiencing some tension with the Indonesian Embassy. The Embassy organised a Pasar Malam Indonesia in the same space (the Malieveld fields next to the Central Train Station) in April ( over the protests of Tong-Tong, which has been using this same space for decades. The Tong-Tong people felt that this was a conscious attempt to draw their own audiences away.

The Dutch public seems to have been indifferent to the Pasar Malam Indonesia - they felt it was overpriced, over-full with government propaganda, with not enough vendors and uninteresting performances (despite things on the schedule like 'Miss Indonesische Performance'!).

Because of the Tong-Tong's protests and other tensions, the Embassy refused its personnel permission to participate in the Tong-Tong Festival this year. This meant that oddly the Indonesian embassy's performance group will be presenting a wayang wong fragment at Tong-Tong without any of the regular members who are employed by the embassy.

Tong-Tong has recently published a book celebrating the history of the pasar (Florine Koning, De Pasar Malam van Tong Tong: Een Indische Onderneming, 2009). I have long had the ambition to conduct more academic research on this fascinating, always changing yet always the same event...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Dutch Indonesian Encounters Day 3

I'm writing the morning after the third (and final) day of the Dutch Indonesian Musical Encounters symposium in Leiden - a long day in which I chaired two sessions and was a discussant for Sumarsam - the well-known gamelan teacher and ethnomusicologist, author of the book Gamelan (1995). 7 hours of non-stop talk was capped by a trip to the Tong-Tong Festival (formerly known as the Pasar Malam Besar) in Den Haag in the company of Sumarsam, composer Franki Raden, Triyono Bramantyo (dean of the faculty of performing arts at ISI Yogyakarta) and symposium organiser Els Bogaerts.

In the morning session Pak Bramantyo spoke about how the Netherlands has played only a very minor role in Indonesian musicology since Jaap Kunst's time. He hoped that the symposium would revive interest in ethnomusicology and interest in Indonesia in general (!). Pak Bram then showed a video of his 2009 research in Sulawesi Tengah - a small ensemble composed of 3 instrumentalists playing plucked string instruments and an end-blown flute and a singer in a jilbab sung plaintive songs without great enthusiasm while sitting in a row of blue plastic chairs. Pak Bramantyo later said that he was in search of 'genuine' music untainted by the modern world.

His discussant Ben Arps responded that the reason why no Indonesian PhD students had come to the Netherlands to study ethnomusicology wasthat ethnomusicology is 'very poorly institutionalised' in the Dutch academy in general. Kunst himself held an 'extraordinary' position at Amsterdam university, outside of the regular departmental structure, and no strong centres of academic ethnomusicology research had emerged since. In contrast, the Netherlands 'had not fared badly' in the practice of Indonesian music. Music and the performing arts in general have played important roles in keeping public interest in Indonesia alive in the Netherlands. Here Indonesians have been involved - as teachers, visiting artists and so on.

Wim van Zanten, my old colleague from the PAATI project, then spoke about theory and practice in Sundanese music. He argued that models proposed by Sundanese theorist Kusumadinata (stimulated by Jaap Kunst) were overly elaborate and hard for musicians to understand. Kusumadinata's notation system cannot be understood without first knowing modal theory. Sundanese musicians refer to notes by strings (which are either tuned up or down depending on the tuning mode). Musicians don't actually need notation, though it is useful for analysis. He then argued for the benefits of an artist in residence system (as he said is common in the US) whereby an Indonesian musician might teach an ethnic music while studying for a PhD. He gave the example of Uking Sukri who used money gained from teaching in the Netherlands to repair his house, and Yus Wiradiredja, who used his pay check to bankroll 3 cassette tapes of Islamic music. He played one of these tapes Pancering Hidup (2003) which was actually quite nice. He also played some other hybrid Cianjuran musical examples -- a collaboration of jazz pianist Bubi Chen with Uking Sukri and rehearsal footage from Dangiang Perhiangan's work with Dutch jazz pianist Rob Agerbeek (described as 'Soendanese crossover' in the Tong-Tong Festival's schedule).

Wim's discussant Lutgard Mutsaers (author of Rockin' Ramona) picked up Wim's comment that Sundanese musicians don't require theory. She wanted to know whether any Indonesian scholars have contested Wim's work. Wim argued that Indonesians have been hampered from intellectual exchange (including participation in international conferences etc) due to poor knowledge of English. This he admitted is changing - but graduallly. Some pointed to Soeharto as a culprit.

Franki Raden jumped in to say that Soeharto actually neglected arts and culture - which was sometimes a benign neglect. Soeharto should therefore not be blamed for the state of the arts. Much depended on who was the Dikjen for the arts. During Edi Setwayati's term there were many positive changes - she shook up the system for the better. Other ministers and director generals were corrupt and allowed research money to be corrupted. Much research remains of very poor quality. Franki added that the main reason that the government has shown an interest in his own national orchestra project is to prop up tourism. He admitted he didn't care about the government's motives, as long as they provided support.

Wim came back that his own work was not entirely ignored by Indonesians. Uking Sukri adopted Wim's system of notation for teaching, for example. Pak Bramantyo later reported that Kusumadinata's influence in the academies had faded. While he once occupied an important place (and was well known due to his music textbooks taught in pre-university levels), few were familiar with his theories today.

This session on 'Academia, Musicologists and Institutes' wass followed by two artist talks by composers Klaus Kuiper and Sinta Wullur. Klaus argued that his identity was not predicated on his citizenship in a nation-state but rather as a music-maker. He had us look at his piece Golden Rain (1991) score for piano trio plus clarinet. This was inspired by Hujan Mas recorded in the classic album Morning of the World (1967). Another piece titled Sonata da Camera (1997/9), written for the contemporary gamelan ensemble Gending and performed at the Yogya gamelan festival to a constantly laughing and applauding audience, made many gestures to pop music. These were not intentional - they just happened. 'I steal everywhere', Kalus admitted, referencing Stravinsky's famous quote that poor artists borrow while great artists steal.

Henk Mak van Dijk pointed to how Kupiers' music contrasted with his own stereotyped impressions of Indonesia. Henk viewed Indonesia through a nostalgic tempo doeloe lens as without conflict, while Klaus' music emphasises clash. He also referred to Linda Bandara's piece for gamelan written in 1937. Klaus noted that Gending plays on a gamelan slendro as this provides a challenge for the composers in the group. Usually in Holland gamelan provides an inspiration, a starting point. But Kuipers has a deeper engagement - at the level of structure and technique (for example kotekan, which suffuses his music). Sumarsam pointed out that some of the enjoyment of Kuipers' music in Java might be his integration of Balinese techniques - this provides a pleasant surprise. Kuipers said that he had actually been criticised in Java for not being Javanese enough. Kuipers also reported that he has written for Indonesian gamelan ensembles. An ideal pattern for him is for musicians to learn their parts individually and then come together for 2 weeks of rfehearsl. It is important for parts to be first internalised - so that scores are not referenced in rehearsal or performance. He also prefers to work without a conductor.

Sinta Wullur played examples of her music and spoke about her compositional processes. She likened her work to experimentation in a lab. Her harmonic elements are derived from McPhee's transcriptions - she took his 7 scales and used rotation to make chords. She has used these same chords consistently since 1993. She thinks about climax and tension through Bach. Sinta also played a bit of her opera - Sinta's Liberation for chromatic gamelan, orchestra, Western-trained voices and wayang kulit (performed by Joko Susilo) and spoke about her attempts to integrate Indonesian, Indian and European music in Indi Go.

Reporter Joss Wibisono spoke about how he was 'pangling' - in between recognising and not recognising - when confronted with Sinta's music. He had difficulty recognising gamelan due to chromaticism of sounds, and European structures. Sinta described herself as 'a child of two cultures' in her presentation title and said she saw herself as a new race, a new entitty. She said her music appealed particularly to percussionists. The vibraphone or marimba is a very poor cousin to the bronze instruments of gamelan, with their rich sonic qualities. She said she would like to bring her chromatic gamelan to Indonesia and see how Indonesians might use it. She is looking for partners.

Discussion returned again to Linda Bandara, whose own specially made gamelan (apparently diatonic) was constructed in 1925 and is now housed in the ethnological museum in Vienna.

Franki Raden said that much of the interest of gamelan was lost by tuning it to a Western scale. Sinta said that ehe wanted to experiment with Steve Reich/Phillip Glass like figurations in combination with gamelan patterns - the chromatic gamelan was ideal for this, she argued.

Jos Jansen applauded Sinta's opera - saying that in it she no longer felt she had to prove herself, she just makes the music shet wants to.

Sumarsam offered the finding that Raffles' gamelan in Claydon House is probably the first diatonic gamelan.

Renadi said that retuned gamelan is not unique to the West. Krakatau uses a 10 toned slendro-based gamelan with tuned synthesizer to make chromatic effect. Reference was also made to the Gamelan Supra.

After lunch, Lutgard Mutsaers offered her thoughts about parallels between choro, a popular music of Brazil, and keroncong, and showed a documentary about choro off youtube.

She argued that choro remained a music of the streets - the origin point of keroncong, which was gentrified in the 1930s. A music video Choro Novo was like a keroncong street performance. In contrast the 'krontjong baru' at Tong-Tong was very tame and domesticated.

This was, she said, kroncong as 'high art'.

Discussant Peter Keppy, himself also a kroncong researcher, criticised Lutgard for emphasising connections with very distant musics of Portuguese origin (choro, Hawaiian music etc). He urged her to look at closer connections - gambang kromong and Chinese music particularly. He told an enecdote about how he was talking once with a Chinese friend over a kroncong tape. The conservation stopped and his friend shouted out 'wow, this is a chinese song!' The song was Gambang Semarang, well known as based on a Chinese melody.

Peter said that to him choro music was very different than kroncong. Lutgard was unclear whether she saw a direct genetic relation between choro and kroncong, or whether she just was inspired by the analytical approach taken to choro in Choro: A Social History of a Brazilian Popular Music (Indiana UP, 2005).

The final paper of the symposium was presented by Sumarsam. Sumarsam commented on gendhing mares - a gamelan form that includes trumpet and drum. Sumarsam asked that if gamelan was a sign of Javanese power, why incorporate European instruments? Was this a domestification of exotic sounds or intercultural dialogue? He pointed to the contrasting example of tanjidor, wherein European instruments are fully domesticated (playing an excerpt from Yampolsky's album, In contrast, trumpet and drum play very simple role in gendhing mares. Sumarsam saw this (in line with John Pemberton) as a symbolic means to resituate the Dutch as tolerated guests.

The revival of gendhing mares in a restoration of Bedhaya Semang was at the instigation of a high-ranking prince, who over-ruled the authenticity drive of the scholars and dancers of the court to insist on a more 'sigrak' accompaniment for the entrance and exit of dancers. Sumarsam linked this to the Yogyakarta gamelan festival, which places a stress on hybridity, to demonstrate that gamelan is in-step with the world.

I acted as Sumarsam's discussant. I pointed out that gendhing mares were probably intended not just for Javanese ears but also to impress European visitors to the court with Yogyakarta's martial power. Sumarsam's Javanese ears heard the trumpet and drum as simple embellishments of a complex Javanese musical structure. In contrast, my own ears heard ONLY the trumpet and drum. I alos pointed out how drum-and-trumpet was linked to military bands (oempa) which were omni-present in urban Indonesia in the late colonial period.

The last session, led by symposium organisers Bart Barendregt and Els Bogaerts, focused on future plans for a volume. We were told that contributors should pay more attentio nnto musical materials - not just context. An attempt will be made to balance Indonesian and Dutch perspectives. Peter Nas urged a theoretical integration of the book - with a focus on themes such as hybridity and mediation.

In the evening, as already mentioned, I went off with the Indonesian ocnference participants to the Tong-Tong Festival, where we saw Tohpati Etnomission (jazz fusion uit Indonesie) and a Balinese dance workshop delivered by I Gusti Raka Rasmi and friends.

The concert was fun - the combination of jazz drumming with Sundanese kendang was particularly interesting for me. But Sumarsam and Els found it overly loud.

It was lovely to see Raka in action. I had only seen her previously in old footage and photos from 1952 - when she toured the US and Europe in the Dancers of Bali tour produced by John Coast. Her dancing remained energetic and sprightly, and she interacted with grace and charm with the participants (mostly women and girls of Indonesian descent).

I spoke afterwards briefly with Raka - she spoke about her 'mother' Laura Rosenberg. Els presented Raka with a series of articles written by tour producer Soeprapto about the 1952-3 tour that were published in Mimbar Indonesia.

A tour of the festival's 'Indonesian pavilion' and a meeting with the dalang wayang golek (who remembered me from the 2008 festival) brought the evening to a close.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dutch-Indonesia Encounters Day 2

The symposium on Dutch-Indonesian Musical Encounters continued for a second day on Thursday 20 May. Today was quite a mix of papers - from obscure performance forms in Indonesia's outer islands to a postcolonial critique by Indonesian composer Franki Raden to theatre in Suriname and pop music in the Netherlands.

Anthropologist Gerard Persoon spoke about versions of the Wilhelma as sung in Mentawai. The national anthem was learned in colonial schools and sung annually at the Queen's Birthday (a major celebration in the Indies, often involving 'folk games' like climbing greased poles and the like). The song was still proudly remembered in the repertoire of one of Gersoon's chief musical informants and recorded in a CD. A number of Mentawai language versions exist, with different lyrics etc.

Miriam Brenner, a young ethnomusicologist who works for a music festival in Nijmegen and a world music venue in Utrecht, spoke about research she did in Buton for a Bandung NGO on a drum and dance military style band known as galangi.

This band - which features a small ensemble of drummers (3), spear holders and flag bearers form a military kompaniya that appear in processions. Formerly a war dance, it is now typically used as a welcoming dance.Dutch sources going back to 1640 describe the use of drums to intimidate the Butonese. In an inversion of this, Butonese dress in the trappings of the VOC. Up until the late colonial period, galangi's flags displayed the VOC emblem.Drawing on Homi Bhabha, she described galangi as a sphere of activity where colonial power exerted its influence.

Franki Raden went back to materials in his PhD dissertation (2001) and linked the work of Ki Hadjar Dewantara to his own work as a composer (specifically his recent concert with the Indonesian National Orchestra). He argued that by having a national anthem in a Western diatonic mode, a European element was embedded in Indonesian national identity from the start. Ki Hadjar Dewantara's hybrid Kinanthie Sandoong (which has a piano part based on gender figurations and a vocal line that calls upon the singer to improvise cengkok wilet) was a sign of resistance against the hegemonic culture of Europe. He described and showed a DVD of the recently-launched Indonesian National Orchestra - working with 'masters' from around Indonesia and developing a few new instruments (incluindg a bass rebab redolent of Suryoputro's late colonial work) he continues Ki Hadjar's tradition of notating and allowing for self-expression. This is a big ensemble - 45 instrumentalists plus a choir of 15 - and Franki is still looking for funding to support the work. It is a nationalist projecgt - Franki rejects European instruments (he says he will only use them as soloists), wants to return to indigenous tradition and explore resources and develop tradition as a composer.

Discussion focused on the role of notation and what it means to be a composer in Indonesia. Wim van Zanten said that notation was only an aide memoire - in contrast to Judith Becker who argues (with Walter Ong) that notation fundamentally changes the way we think. Henk Mak van Dijk said he knew of only 3 compositions by Ki Hadjar (Franki knew only one) and questioned whether Ki Hadjar could then be called a composer. Ben Arps countered that Ki Hadjar wrote many other pieces - but used a cypher notation of his own devising. Dutch composer Jos Jansen questioned how innovative Franki's work is - he says he has heard much similar music in Yogya and Solo over the years. He urged a more radical approach to gamelan.

This lively discussion was followed by a paper by Fridus Steijlen on the Maluku band H-Gang, the Merantau choir and a theatre of liberation play titled Degnan Harapan. All were part of a radical moment in Maluku cultural politics in the Netherlands in the 1980s in the wake of the violent highjacking of trains, as the community moved from being exiles to reconciling themselves to the position of migrant. The community in their arts made strategic alliances with other communities of struggle - the gay rights community, South African anti-apartheid activists, East Timorese activists, ex-PKI. This is legible in their arts - through singing South African songs, singing song such as N Bomb (a nuclear protest in reggae style) and Indonesian-language songs such as Buka Mata Sama-Sama (1981) - in which Indonesians are called upon to vote against the Soeharto regime. Interesting ironies emerge. A South African song turns out to have lyrics urging people to kill the Boers - this was sung without knowledge at the time. The speaker presented as a musician participant in this early 1980s scene - speaking from direct knowledge. This inclusivity has been a characteristic of Maluccan bands in the Netherlands for years. Discussang Wim Manuhutu (himself also a musician) said that the Maluku community generally found H-Gang and affiliated organisations 'weird' both musically and in terms of their political alliances.

After lunch, we heard a paper by Annika Ockhorsst on Javanese elements in the Surinamese multicultural theatre companiy Doe Theatre (1974-1983). Annika wrote her MA in history on this company, basing herself on historical documents as well as interviews with suriving ompany members, some of whom live in the Netherlands. Doe (from a word meaning song-and-dance performance as well as 'do' - a sense of political action) was a postcolonial theatre that aimed to define a national Surinamese identity by drawing on elements of all the major ethnic groups and enacting stories addressing real issues confronting Surinamese society. Gamelan instruments were used, costume and set elements (including a gapura) were incorporated, mythological figures (including a wayang wong Hanoman) could be found. Dancers returned from dharmasiswa in central Java taught the company dance. The company played for middle class audiences in the capital. Few Javanese attended, despite the fact that 2 out of the 10 core members were of Javanese descent. While touring in the provinces, it played sometimes for Javanese audiences. It was noteworthy also for introducing gamelan instruments (played in a non-idiomatic way) to indigenous people in the interior. The company resisted the European style of theatremmaking by drawing on indigneous elements, inspired by the black theatre movement in the US (the director had studied in the US before founding Doe) and a variety of other cultural influences. It also worked strategically with a number of other organisations - including at least 2 Javanese NGOs. Other performances (to date) have people present their own cultures. But Doe showed people from different ethnic groups enacting each other's rituals and dances and expressive arts. Franki Raden wondered in the discussion about the influence of Amir Pasaribu, who lived in Suriname for 30 years.

We also heard two papers on pop music in the Netherlands by people of Indonesian extraction. A and R manager Harry Knipschild showed clips from youtube of a number of bands famous in the 1950s and early 1960s - speaking about them from the perspective of the music business.

Lutgard Mutsaers, author of the book Rockin' Ramona (1989), described the bands in a discussion afterwards as 'unDutch' (meaning excellent). They made their fortune playing in Germany to soldiers in American army bases desparate to hear rock 'n roll and returned to Holland in cadillacs and gold chains. Knipschild was not only nostalgic for the past - he also promoted the Sarawak singer Zee Avi, showing a clip of her 'Just You and Me' (2009), and spoke about singers of Indonesian extraction who are still making music today. Rein Spporman argued that Maluccan musicians are not defined by musical style (though they share a core repertoire of 150-200 folk songs). Rather they are 'the gypsies of the Netherlands' playing whatever music is in vogue.

A festive dinner at the Prentenkabinet followed in the evening.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dutch-Indonesian Musical Encounters

I am writing from Leiden, at the end of the first day of a symposium on Dutch-Indonesian Musical Encounters sponsored by the KITLV and the Professor Teeuw Foundation. The Teeuw Foundation is planning to award a prize to a musician or scholar of music who has contributed to the mutual cultural understanding of the 2 nations, and is holding this event to generate a context for the award. It is planned that a volume of conference papers will be launched at the prize ceremony - and there might be another conference on the same theme in Indonesia in the future.

Today, I gave a paper (actually less a paper than a display of audiovisual examples as papers were distributed in advance of the symposium) titled 'Indonesian Performing Arts in the Netherlands, 1913-1944'.

I presented a clip from the only film made of an Indische drama, The Sugar Lady (first staged in 1917 and filmed in 1935), some kroncong by a Dutch student group recorded in London, a short slice of Jodjana's film God Shiva, a short clip of a 1949 Dutch-Indonesian conference on West Papua featuring Javanese dance.

The paper was well received - participants seemed most interested in Jodjana particularly.

Henk Mak van Dijk spoke on Constant van de Wall, showing some images that did not make it into his book, as well as a clip from a DVD of the 2008 production of Attima and some tracks from his recording of van de Wall's music.

He was concerned in particular with van de Wall finding a place in Indonesian music history and for Attima to achieve its place in the cannon of exotica. He thought about van de Wall's compositions as a way to make history come closer to Indonesians- they could appreciate them as they are familiar.

Renadi Santoso, a Cologne-born composer and dancer of Indonesian descent who lives in Holland, and Dutch composer and sound technician Jos Jansen spoke about their relation to gamelan. Renadi spoke about art as a way to discover aspects of his self. Gamelan provides him with a way to understand his roots. He is also interested in the kendang's relation to dance and puppetry - providing him with a model for how to have an extra layer in his music, a friction that is not resolved. Jos Jansen described his intimate familiarity with gamelan - a music that is not strange to him as he has been playing it for decade3s. He spoke about his use of chance compositional procedures (modelled after John Cage) and his experience of working with Miroto - seeing his dancers repeat a movement for the duration of a 52 minute pre-composed score until they found a moment when it was cocok with the music. They built up the dance score in this way.

The afternoon was a public session in the Tropen Museum. We heard three talks. The first was by Liesbeth Ouwehand (photo curator at the KITLV) on performance photographs in the KITLV archive (with a concentration on photos from the court of Yogya in Groneman's book on dance and ceremony, and photos of the large 1906 exhibition in Surabaya). Madelon Djajadiningrat and Clara Brinkgreve did a double-act presenting on the correspondence of Jaap Kunst and Mangkunegara VII. Wim Manuhutu spoke on songs from Maluku and concluded his presentation with a charming trio presentation of an Ambonese song. The talks were punctuated with compositions by Sinta Wullur for piano, flute and voice. Many in the audinece were elderly ex-Indies hands, and there was a great sense of nostalgia for the colonial period that permeated the whole afternoon.

In addition to the talks, like at many conferences, I've been hanging out and catching up with old friends - Ben Arps, Sumarsam, Pim Westerkamp, Freek Columbijn, Rob van Albada and others. I've also had the opportunity to spend some time with Franki Raden - who is staying in the same suite of room at the Ethnological Museum. This is a rare treat as this famous Indonesian composer has only just returned to Indonesia after a decade living abroad and has recently founded a self-proclaimed national orchestra composed entirely of indigenous instruments. Franki divides his time now between Jakarta and Ubud and I hope to see him in one place or the other when I visit Indonesia in December-January.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Nike 'Wayang'

An unusual piece of shadow animation has popped up in my weekly google alert.

Simon Cassels and Justin Blampied, the creators of this 'Spec piece' - a proposed ad for Nike - discuss being inspired by wayang kulit's clean and straightforward storytelling capacities (see