Bilawa Respati (INT)
Bilawa Ade Respati is an Indonesian musician and artist based in Berlin. He performs on the Javanese Gamelan and the guitar, composing music for both instruments. Recently, he has also started experimenting with electronic music and algorithmic music composition.
Formally trained in Engineering Physics, he specializes in acoustic signal processing and music information retrieval, with a focus on the analysis of Javanese gamelan music. Parallel to his formal training as an engineer, he has also studied classical guitar, Javanese gamelan, and music composition from various teachers as well as autodidactically.
In his works, Respati takes a syncretic approach drawing from his various backgrounds: from engineering to performing art, from European music tradition to the art of Javanese Karawitan. His current artistic interest lies in the dialectic between tradition and innovation, as well as the re-evaluation of traditions in contemporary life.
Respati has performed the gamelan both in classical and contemporary styles, with ensembles Arum Sih (Überseemuseum Bremen), Sekar Kenanga (Elbphilharmonie Hamburg), and Lindhu Raras (Haus der Indonesischen Kulturen, Berlin).
He collaborates on dance productions with rubarb dance & art, under the direction of the choreographer Ruben Reniers. Other collaborations include Berlin’s Indonesian art collective Soydivision, and the guitar + electronics duo OKNUM (with Ariel Orah).
Cheryl Ong (SG)
Cheryl Ong is a percussionist who is active in music performance and education and regularly performs with avant rock group, The Observatory. Though classically trained, she consistently struggles with the fact that classical music can be divisive and limited in form. Tired of being a mere technician, Ong has gone on to explore improvisational and experimental practices in recent years, hunting down new ideas and sounds.
Apart from her involvement with The Observatory, her recent performances include RATA: new grounds, new sounds with the RATA Orkestra (2022, Singapore); All Ears Festival (2020, Norway) with the Guro (Dyna)Moe Revolution Sextet; AngelicA Festival (2019, Bologna) in a duo with Vivian Wang; and Kombo at CTM Festival (2019, Berlin). Her solo composition »Hejira« was used in the closing credits of Singaporean filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua’s award-winning film, A Land Imagined. Cheryl Ong was also part of the curatorial team of Nusasonic, a project that aimed to strengthen ties between experimental music scenes in Southeast Asia and beyond.
Khyam Allami (IQ/UK)
Khyam Allami is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, researcher, and founder of Nawa Recordings. His artistic research and practice explore experimental composition and improvisation based on and inspired by, the fundamentals of Arabic music and culture.
During the US/UK-led invasion and destruction of Iraq in 2003 Allami found himself to be »out of balance« with himself and his history and in 2004—aged 23—began to study oud, Arabic, and Iraqi music with Iraqi Oud master Ehsan Emam in London. He rapidly became a performer of international renown. His 2011 debut solo album, Resonance/Dissonance was widely critically praised and led him to high-profile performances across Europe and the Arab world including the BBC Proms (UK), WOMAD (UK), Supersonic (UK), CTM (DE), Incubate (NL) and Irtijal (LB).
Recent works include »Requiem for the 21st Century,« an immersive Oud-based installation for Opera North (UK), »Ma-a aba ud mena gin Ma-a di-di-in,« a string quartet for JACK quartet (US), and »Apotome,« a collaborative project with Counterpoint Studio which was awarded the inaugural Isao Tomita Special Prize at Ars Electronica 2021. Allami holds a BA and Masters in Ethnomusicology from SOAS, University of London, and a Ph.D. in composition from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University (UK).
J “Mo’ong” Santoso Pribadi (ID/LT)
The Bangkok-born and Java-raised Johanes »Mo’ong« Santoso Pribadi is an experimental music composer and instrument builder. He started his studies in Western classical music but soon moved back to his roots to explore the wisdom of Javanese folklore, completing a Master’s in Music Composition at the Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Surakarta.
While Pribadi’s main area of study is »musik Nusantara,« or the music of Indonesia, he has worked within many different genres of music, and with multidisciplinary projects spanning modern dance, modern theater, contemporary puppet theater, installation art, and performance art. He has been hacking his knowledge of traditional music with crunchy electronics and unique DIY junk instruments made from found objects and trash. He is one half of Raja Kirik together with musician/composer Yennu Ariendra aka Y-DRA, exploring the musical, cultural, and political aspects of Indonesian trance dances. The duo has released two critically acclaimed albums so far, with Yes No Wave and Nyege Nyege Tapes respectively. Takkak Takkak is his latest duo project with the Berlin-based Japanese screwball producer Shigeru Ishihara (a.k.a. Dj Scotch Egg, WaqWaq Kingdom, DJ Scotch Rolex).
Mo’ong Pribadi currently lives and works in Vilnius.
Morgan Sully (US/DE)
Morgan Sully is an experimental electronic musician and initiator of Latent Sonorities.
Having grown up in Borneo, Hawaii, and Southern California, much of Morgan’s work seeks overlaps and hybrids across musical diasporas.
Previously, Morgan co-curated #soy&synth, an experimental concert series with Indonesian collective Soydivision Berlin, co-releasing much of the output on their sister label L-KW together with Midnight Shift.
With Soydivision, Morgan collaborated with Rabih Beaini from Morphine Records for a musical staging of KIAMAT, inspired by Senyawa’s sprawling, 44-label co-release with write-ups in the New York Times, Wire and Create Digital Music. Morgan also co-organized Pasar Alkisah with the band, a 48-hour decentralized online audio/video festival, and marketplace featuring over 200 remixes from the album, spanning multiple countries, streams, and concerts.
It is Morgan’s hope that this initial proposal of Latent Sonorities will move intergenerationally across DAWs, samplers, scenes, and archives.
Pinky Htut Aung (MM/FR)
Pinky Htut Aung is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist from Myanmar, who began her career as a musician in 2013.
Growing up in a family of musicians, music has been a central part of her life, though Aung first explored her practice as a visual artist. Her first group exhibition in 2018; »Clouds are Thoughts,« encouraged her to dive deeper into (digital) art in a more transdisciplinary way, including fusing sonics and music with her visual work. She subsequently managed an experimental noise music community called Noise in Yangon, and was an active member of the band Bouhinga, until relocating to Paris in 2022.
In 2022, Aung took part in the project and digital album Common Tonalities, which assembled a group of Southeast Asian musicians and diaspora to explore electronic music production with regional tuning systems under the guidance of Khyam Allami. She also actively composes music for films and documentaries and continues to work within the visual arts.
Tusa Montes (PH)
Tusa Montes is a percussionist, ethnomusicologist, and educator who specializes in the musics of the Philippines, Asia, West Africa, and Latin America.
Montes has performed and recorded in multiple projects, events, and festivals in the Philippines and abroad. Recent events include the »Gongster’s Paradise« Kulintang festival in the US (2023), »Rain Motions: Connecting (with) the Skies of Southeast Asia« Festival in Thailand (2023), »Padyak Hamburg« in Germany (2022), Nusasonic HCMC Festival in Vietnam (2022), and Virtual PASIC (an international percussion convention, 2021). She has performed with notable local and international musicians such as Edsel Gomez, Joe Bataan, royal hartigan, Leonard Eto, Bob Aves, Grace Nono, Johnny Alegre, and Bo Razon.
Montes graduated in 2012 with a Master’s degree in Musicology from the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Music. She subsequently taught at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music for 10 years, before taking a position as Senior Lecturer at the UP College of Music where she continues to teach.
Wanton Witch (INT)
Born in an isolated community on the island of Borneo, Wanton Witch is a DJ and producer with a hyper-sensitive connection and approach to sound through performance.
It wasn’t until relocating to Bangkok that she was able to access the different communities and musical genres that she would later travel between. There she became a co-founder and original member of the queer underground creative collective Non Non Non which has become a nightlife staple in the city.
With an early taste for trap and hip hop, she began working in the deconstructed club and techno scene where she found her musical voice, beginning her DJ career in 2018. A fortuitous crossing of paths online sparked a creative collaboration with Stroboscopic Artefacts labelhead Lucy, who released Wanton Witch’s eponymous debut album in 2021. The album feels like a reflection of the aggregation that already exists within musical internet subcultures and communities – a place where many diverse and contrasting sound palettes, textures, and structures can fit together to create a new and different, queer way of seeing the world. It was featured as one of the Best Albums of 2021 by Resident Advisor, Mixmag Japan, and many more. Shortly thereafter, Lucy released a full-length album named Lucy Plays Wanton Witch featuring re-interpretations of the original material in a whole new body of work.
Wanton Witch has performed at festivals such as Unsound, Hyperreality, Creamcake, Lunchmeat, and Wonderfruit among others.