Contemporary experimental music
The third edition of this year’s Alur Bunyi concert series will present a collaboration by two musicians from the East Sumba region, singer Ata Ratu and multi-instrumentalist Anton Toba Lenda, along with interdisciplinary artist Duto Hardono.
The purpose of bringing these artists together is to foster a dialogue between the distinct practices of singing as a form of spontaneous storytelling, ritualistic music, and electronic sound synthesis. This intersection of methods, with improvisation bridging them, becomes the means for discovery and explorations in seeking unforeseen aural expressions.
Investigating how different mediums and disciplines are able to be responsive to each other is a significant aspect of exploring hybridity, the theme of this year’s Alur Bunyi. This process of assimilation is meant to spark a discussion about inclusivity and the fading boundaries in evaluating the commonly accepted term “traditional” with reference to music.
Ata Ratu was born in Sumba, a small island in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. She has been playing the Jungga (a four-string instrument), writing and singing in her native Kambera language since the age of 13.
The music played by Ata Ratu is a relatively modern form of Sumbanese folk/popular music. Poetic couplets known as “lawiti”—also used in ritual speeches—are central to her songs. She is often called upon by locals to craft songs spontaneously by singing and matching an appropriate progression of these couplets.
Ata Ratu was featured on the seminal Smithsonian/Folkways album Indonesian Guitars performing a rice threshing dance song called “Ludu Parinna”. She is widely known today as one of the most respected cultural icons in Sumba and has toured Europe as well as the Indonesian archipelago.
Anton Toba Lenda
Anton Toba Lenda is a senior dance and music teacher at the famous Sanggar Ori Angu in Waingapu, Sumba. He is a singer and multi-instrumentalist who is well-versed in the many rituals and traditions of the region. He performs with ensembles and young children’s groups in cultural events around Sumba.
Duto Hardono is a conceptual artist, experimental musician and lecturer based in Bandung, Indonesia. He has exhibited his works and performed internationally in notable spaces including Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Belgium), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Germany), and National Gallery of Australia (Australia). He has taken part in the Shanghai Biennale (2012), Biennale Jogja (2013), Saitama Triennale (2016), Europalia Festival (2017), and Contemporary
Worlds: Indonesia (2019) to showcase site-specific sound installations and collages and his more recent immaterial works based on text/instruction scores.
As a musician, his works span minimal compositions using tape loops, to musique concrète and improvisations with modular synthesizers. He teaches Sound Art and Performance in the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design at Bandung Institute of Technology. He also runs a publication platform and music label called Hasana Editions.
To Project: Alur Bunyi