Music Performance Programme
Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O.: Formed in 1995 by Makoto Kawabata at the same time as the Acid Mothers Temple Soul Collective. The group released its debut album in 1997 on PSF Records (Japan), and it was selected as one of the year’s best albums in the The Wire magazine (UK). In 1998 the group played their first tours of the US and Europe. Since then the group has released a huge number of albums on labels from many different countries. As of 2017, the group has released around 80 albums. Every year since 1998, they have toured extensively in the US and Europe, and more recently have started performing around Asia and in Japan too. The group has performed in collaboration with many musicians including psychedelic originators Gong and Guru Guru, Simeon (Silver Apples), Nik Turner (Hawkwind), and the Occitanian trad sinder Rosina de Peira. Japanese collaborators have included Afrirampo, Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins), Maso Yamazaki (Masonna), Seiichi Yamamoto (Boredoms), Jun Kuriyama (The Ox), and many others. To begin with the group had a floating line-up with contributions from many members of the AMT Soul Collective. But as tours became more frequent, the group began to coalesce around a core touring line-up. Other bands were created with Acid Mothers Temple as part of their name (AMT & The Cosmic Inferno, AMT SWR, AMT & The Space Paranoid, Acid Mothers Gong, Acid Mothers Guru Guru, etc.), but AMT & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. has continued to function as the mothership and main lineage for all our activities. In 2016, 21 years since the group’s founding, there was a major shift in the line-up and “Next Generation” was added to the name. We now view the first 20 years as chapter one in our story, and we are now turning the page to start chapter two. The current touring line-up is: Makoto Kawabata (the sole original member), Hiroshi Higashi, Nani Satoshima, Wolf and Jyonson Tsu.
Ali Fyffe is a Melbourne-based saxophonist who studied notated music in Australia and France, and then started improvising and creating throughout the Asia-Pacific. Described as “unpopular music”, “like a film score” and “weird”, Ali’s free improvisations explore unconventional use of the saxophone to create surreal acoustic soundscapes. As a keen collaborator and traveller, Ali has worked in numerous ensembles and with a range of artists. She’s toured Australia, France, and South-East Asia extensively, support by Creative Victoria, and has also played in the UK, Italy, India and Taiwan. Ali is now a member of the Tilde New Music Festival committee and a member of Forest Collective, one of Melbourne’s leading new music ensembles.
Arma Agharta is the sound performance artist and promoter from Lithuania devoted to improvised and experimental music. With more than 400 performances in his baggage, he is one of the most active performers from Europe. In 2018, celebrating 20 years of involvement in the worldwide DIY music scene, he is going on the big world tour, starting from Europe and heading towards North and South Americas, Australia and Southeast Asia. His intense and high energy shows span a broad territory between the eruptions of chaotic noise and hypnotic psychedelic ritual to dadaist humour, odd bodily movements, spontaneous improvised games and the voice, detached from meaning and turning into unintelligible glossolalia. Arma has participated in festivals and special events, including Sonic Protest (France), All Ears (Norway), Arctic Sounds (Greenland), Volta (Mexico), Destroy Vancouver (Canada), Gogbot (Netherlands), Sonic (Denmark), Jauna Muzika (Lithuania), Construction (Ukraine), Le mini Who (Netherlands), Mlode Wilki (Poland), Camp (Germany) and many more.
Bei San Q Nan (Yang Chih-Yu) was born in Ping Tong, Taiwan. He started making noise when he was a freshman in college. Making noise makes him happy, so is buying records, eating and drinking. His current goal in music making is to let the audience be happy with his noise!
Bohr is a trio metal-outfit from Kuala Lumpur, whom music is focussing between sound melodies and bottom-end harmonies, comprising of Man on rhythm guitar and vocals, Hafiz on lead guitar and effects, and OG on drums. Since its inception in 2016, they have been heavily utilising the DIY approach to capture the maximum aural experience out of their instruments, with minimal gears used both for recordings and live performances. To date, they have released a Self-titled EP, and expecting to enter the recording studio soon.
Cheryl Ong is a Singaporean percussionist who is currently active in music performance and education, Cheryl regularly performs with avant rock group, THE OBSERVATORY. Though classically trained, Cheryl consistently struggles with the fact that classical music can be divisive and limited to its roles. Tired of being a mere technician, Cheryl has gone on to explore improvisational and experimental practices in recent years, hunting down new ideas and sounds. She’s always up for playing, bucking trends and going for broke. (Photo by Zaini Qayyum)
Dharma starting as a guitarist coming from the blues, rock/metal scene with a keen ear for jazz, Dharma went further experimenting in his playing when he joined Singapore bands The Observatory and Throb. His initial foray into electric guitar experimentations were with effects which later on evolved into incorporating objects together with various extended techniques. In 2013, he released his solo debut, Intergranular Space, which opened up new vistas for his guitar work. Since 2015 he has been actively touring and doing festivals notably Asian Meeting Festival (2016) and Angelica Festival, Italy (2018). In 2016 he co- founded Avant-Guitar collective, a collective of international guitarists who play the guitar with alternative approaches. Also, in 2016 he co-formed the free-improv outfit, Tenggara Trio comprising members from KL, S’pore and Jogjakarta. Besides playing live, 2018 has been a rather busy year in terms of releases. Starting with The Observatory’s EP in collaboration with Norwegian noise rock act MoE entitled “Shadows”, followed by Tenggara Trio’s debut album “The South of the East” and just a few months back, “To Nothingness….”, a back catalogue of recordings from the defunct noise-improv duo Chöd (2011–2014). (Photo by Wong Yok Teng)
Dino is a sound artist and a guqin maker based in Taipei. Once a bassist of the Clippers Band, he is a seminal figure in the second wave of the noise movement in Taiwan during the late-1990s. He uses simple analogue equipment to create electronic sound with no input, which is known as ‘recycle music’, by generating loops from circuitry noise, static, or microphone feedback. In recent years, Dino participates in experimental films and live music production for the theatre. He was awarded Best Sound Effects in Taipei Film Festival (2003).
Dirk Johan Stromberg is an American music technologist, composer and improviser. His body of work explores dynamic interaction between performer, technology and performance practice. Designing both hardware and software has led to the development of network based audio cards, embedded hardware, and e-instruments. Dirk’s music has been performed in Europe, Asia and North America. Recent major productions as a principle creator include; *ture for mixed instrumentation and media (2012 – Present, touring), time:space: for mixed instrumentation and fixed media (2014 – Present, touring), Convergence for artists, dancers, processing and Phallophone (USA – 2016), Images of Ascension for Phallophone and video (2018, touring), Vibrations of Home/Space for poets, dancers and Phallophone (USA – 2018). He as thrice worked on Art Creation Funds supported by the National Arts Council, Singapore – a major arts development grant. Dirk is currently on faculty at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Game of Patience is one of the few groups in South East Asia region dedicated solely to the creation of free improvised music. Unconstrained by any given tradition, they draw influence and techniques from both the Asian and Western experimental music traditions. Performing with a focused intensity complimented by mercurial group interplay, they create sharp sweeping shards of improvised noise-jazz, creating textures combining extended techniques and electronics with elements of free jazz, electroacoustic composition and free improv. The group consists of Malaysian saxophonist Yong Yandsen with the rhythm section consisting of Tokyo based drummer Darren Moore and Singapore based contrabass player and electronic musician Brian O’Reilly. The members of Game of Patience blend together their diverse backgrounds and influences which contributes to the groups integrated sound. Game of Patience are especially active throughout Asia with performances in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Japan among others. Their first meeting was for the 2009 Mosaic Music Festival in Singapore, with career highlights including performances at the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film Festival in Malaysia in 2012, Music Matters Festival in Colombo, Sri Lanka in 2013, Japan tour in June 2014, and the CHOPPA Experimental Music Festival in Singapore in 2015.
Goh Yen-Lin is a pianist, toy instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and improviser. An avid performer of contemporary classical music, Yen-Lin has premiered numerous solo and chamber works across North America, Europe, Africa, and Malaysia. Notable composers she has collaborated with include Chen Yi, Ge Gan-ru, Mayke Nas, Tom Lopez, and Tazul Tajuddin. This year, She is selected as a 2018 One Beat Fellow with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs out of a pool of more than 1,500 applications. Some of Yen Lin’s performances can be found at youtube.com/c/yenlingoh. Yen-Lin holds a doctorate in Contemporary Music (Performance) from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, USA. Her passion for teaching brought her to Tanzania 2013-15, working as a piano/voice teaching fellow at Umoja School of Music and a lecturer at Tumaini University Makumira. She is currently a senior lecturer at Sultan Idris Education University in Malaysia.
Hsueh Yung-Chih is a Taiwanese percussionist. She has invited to perform in the Trans Journey Future of Media Festival 2012 with Multidisciplinary Artist Herman Kolgen and first lady Ms. Christine Chow. In the end of 2012, she performed the award-winning “Parody” in 2012 Young Stars New Vision Series at Experiment Thearter, and performed the “Music for Hi-Hat and Computer” with American composer Cort Lippe. She was hailed by Cort Lippe “ I performed this piece with eighteen percussionists from the different countries . She is the best one!” Hsueh has invited to perform in the 4th Digital Art Awards Taipei of 2013, and performed the 8th Taipei International Percussion Convention at National Concert Hall. Hsueh also has abundant experiences of working with dancers. For example, she performed in the show “Seeing the invisible” with “Mauvais Chausson Dance Theater” and invited to performed in Tokyo Art University in 2016, “ 2017 COCHLEA Experimental Music Festival”, and “2017 & 2018 Innovation Series in National Experimental Theater”. Currently, Hsueh is the member of the “Forum Music Percussion Ensemble”, “Uni Percussion Duo”, “Semicircular Sound Art Group”.
Joee & I is an electronic music act from the Philippines presenting the work of Joee Mejias, a musician and multi-media artist, and her collaborators. Joee & I’s music combines field recordings, traditional and found instruments, electronic beats and voice forming songs that exist in inner memories, dream altered states, fragments of a real or imagined journey. Live performances vary in use of projections, video, installation, and live performers influenced by Joeeâ€™s background in film and theater. Joee has performed in venues around Southeast Asia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and has been touring around the Philippines. She is co-producer of WSK: Festival Of The Recently Possible, an international festival of digital arts and electronic music in the Philippines and co-founder of HERESY, a platform for women in sound and multimedia.
From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kok Siew-Wai is a vocal improviser, video artist and artist-organiser, and has shown her video works and performed in Asia, Europe, Canada and USA. She has participated in music festivals such as SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival (Malaysia), Singapore Night Festival, Choppa Experimental and Improvised Music Festival and Playfreely (Singapore), allEars Improvised Music Festival (Norway), Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), RRRec Fest (Indonesia), WSK Festival (Philippines), E-Poetry Festival (USA), CTM amongst others. Her vocal performance + text video piece “Language of Self”, is collected by the He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China. Siew-Wai has a deep passion in the experimental and improvised arts, and the DIY effort of promoting them. She is the co-founder and director of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX). In music, she’s interested in improvisation and the exploration of the human voice. (Photo by Teoh EngHooi)
Liu Fangyi lives in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. He works with free improvisation, performances with acoustic objects, electronic sound and cassette tapes. He also works on field recordings, and is interested in sounds of everyday life. These sounds are often combined with his voice in his performances and musical composition. Fangyi has created a Facebook group called Cochlea and try to introduce the musician from different fields to the new audiences. He has organised performances to promote experimental and new sound experiences to the local audience.
Mampos is a Malaysian noise project started in 2017 by Rsyd as an outlet for his obsession with extreme sound. Mampos took part in many local and international experimental and noise show such as FLEX 2017 and Jogja Noise Bombing 2018. Playing noise with a strong influence of Japanoise, Harsh Noise Wall, Hardcore Punk, Extreme Metal, Drone and Ambient.
Nicola L. Hein (*1988) guitarist, composer, philosopher and sound artist. As guitarist he constantly working on developing his inidividual language with the instrument and finding way to make it speak in installative and philosophical settings. As a composer and sound artist he finds different ways of integrating philosophical ideas into music and sound art, to work with music and sound art as a form of philosophy on many different international stages. As a philosopher he is interested in philosophy of music, epistemology, aesthetics and media theory and has recently been visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City.
Paolo Gàiba Riva (PGR) is an Italian musician working in Norway. He was graduated from the Milan’s Jazz Music Academy in bass guitar. At the moment, he’s involved in PGR, a harsh noise unit; playing free improv music with the clarinet; and field recordings.
Ping Wei is a Malaysian saxophonist who performing classical music and experimental music. He started playing the saxophone at the age of fourteen, in high school Wind Orchestra. He has widely interests in different areas of music and shown his passion by taking parts several saxophone quartet, wind ensemble and orchestra, including Birdian Saxophone Quartet, Klpac Symphonic Band and Klpac Orchestra. In 2007, he played as a guest player in University of Malaya Orchestra in concert of celebrating Love and Life. This is a royal concert in honour of His Royal Highness Sultan Azlan Shah. In 2012, he and his team had been invited by embassy of Norway to perform on the Norway National Day at the Norway Embassy of Malaysia. Ping Wei is currently running The Saxophone Store business in Malaysia.
Rodrigo Parejo (1981) is a Spanish jazz musician, improviser, composer and educator based between The Netherlands and South-East Asia. He has been active in some of the different international music scenes in the fields of jazz, world music, contemporary and experimental improvised music in Asia, US, and Europe; performing a broad range of styles from solo performances to free-jazz orchestras, contemporary avant-garde ensembles, ethnic music groups, classical, rock, film music, contemporary dance, flamenco and latin-american music. His recent project, The Java Spring ́s performance is acquainted with the sounds of electronic ambient music, world music, soundscapes film music and meditation music. www.rodrigoparejo.com
Tsa Meera (Malaysia) is a combination of multimedia creative and fine artist. Through a contemporary lens, she works with both digital and traditional mediums as her methods of art making.
Viola Yip is an experimental composer, performer, sound artist and curator. Her recent interests fall on designing new experimental instruments, exploring (1) the sonic materiality of found objects, (2) the interactions between our performative gestures, instruments, the space and the sonic result, as well as (3) incorporating composer-performer’s body as a site for developing new pieces.
Xiao Liu (Liu Ming-Hsun) is a free improv saxophonist from Taiwan. He is associated with projects include indie rock band Long Tou (龍頭) and Free Improv Ensemble PA66.
Xu Chia-Chun (Taiwan) was born in 1997. Xu set out performing and producing harsh noise under the alias “Berserk” since 2015. Initially, he focused on playing rough feedback from handmade instruments and synthesizers before carrying on specializes in no-input effects. Influenced by Japanoise, Death Metal, Hardcore Punk, his live performance is known for highly intense physical energy and massive volume. In 2017, he turned to combining various equipments including no-input mixer and shortwave radio to session with Free Improvisation musicians and folk narrator. His works as Chia-Chun Xu emphasize more on the interaction between sounds, space, and the others. Besides working on his projects, he also runs his music label “MKUltra Productions”, promoting Taiwanese and worldwide noise and experimental musicians.
Yii Kah Hoe is a Malaysian composer and improviser. Yii was the winner of 11th BOH Cameronian Arts Awards (Malaysia, 2014), the winner of Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra Forum for Malaysian Composers (2007), the 3rd Prize in the International Composition for Chinese Orchestra (2006), the finalist of International Composers Competition “Città di Udine” (2010). Yii has been recognized as one of the major voices among Southeast Asian composers of his generation. His music has been widely performed in Asia, America, and Europe. In the fall of 2015, Yii was the Scripps College Erma Taylor O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor at Scripps College in Claremont. Yii was guest composer and guest speaker at Birmingham Conservatoire of Music (2014), York St John University (2014), Yale-NUS College (2017), Iowa State University (2015). He was the president of Society of Malaysian Contemporary Composers (2014 – 2016) and a senior lecturer at SEGi College Subang Jaya, since 2000.
Yong Yandsen is a free jazz and improvised saxophonist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Yandsen has released albums through XingWu and Herbal Records in Malaysia, Utech Records (USA), Dream Sheep (Italy), and his solo debut on vinyl through Doubtful Sound (France). He has played at allEars Improvised Music Festival (Norway), Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Play freely (Singapore), Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, Mosaic Music Festival (Singapore), Choppa Experimental and Improvised Music Festival (Singapore), Music Matters Festival (Sri Lanka), amongst others. Yandsen, together with Darren Moore (Australia) and Brian O’Reily (USA), form the improvised trio Game of Patience. The trio released their debut CD “Trial and Error” and debut LP “The Bad Sleep Well” in 2015, and have toured to Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. He has also done a few solo tours to Japan and Taiwan. In 2017, Yandsen co-founded the Malaysian record label, LaoBan Records, focusing on releasing contemporary improvised music. He is one of the founding members of Studio in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur (SiCKL), and co-director of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX). He is the curator of KLEX’s monthly music series, Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL).
Yuen Chee Wai is a musician, artist, designer based in Singapore. Born in 1975. Often inspired by ideas drawn from philosophical and literary texts, and perspectives glimpsed through the filmic eye and photographic lens, Yuen’s stylistic oeuvre in improvised music is marked by internalised reflections on memory and loss, invisibility and indeterminacy. In 2008, he teamed with Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Ryu Hankil (South Korea), and Yan Jun (China) to form the improvised music quartet, FEN (Far East Network). FEN focuses on the continuing multifaceted networks and collaborations between Asian countries. Since its inception in 2014, Yuen is part of Ensembles Asia as Project Director for Asian Music Network, to which he co-curates the annual Asian Meeting Festival (AMF) in Japan. He is also a member of the avant-rock band The Observatory (Singapore), with whom he plays guitar, synth and electronics. With eleven albums to date, including the most recent being a collaborative album with Norwegian group MoE called Shadows (2018), The Observatory has also conceived a vanguard of initiatives such as the annual festival Playfreely, which gives artists new creative avenues for performing and working together. Both FEN and The Observatory continue to tour extensively, performing in Europe, America and Asia regularly, and has presented in MIMI Festival, Lausanne Underground Music and Film Festival, All Ears Festival, Ftarri Festival and Gwangju Biennale. (Photo by Peter Gannushkin)