Arrington in Indonesia!

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Arrington de Dionyso has been traveling about the island nation of Indonesia since November 7, playing shows, sharing solo versions of the material from his recent Malaikat dan Singa album Open the Crown [KLP244], recording music with native musicians; generally immersing himself in the language, food and culture. Though his access to the World Wide Web has been limited (and when available it is with “paleolithically slow connections”), he has sent over some of the highlights of his journey so far:

” A recording session with Rully and Wukir from the band SENYAWA (best avant garde duo in Indonesia, they are incredible) at Wukir’s house in Yogyakarta- turned out very well, definitely a full length album in itself!”

“Recordings at the Tlatah Bocah community on Mount Merapi- my friends here teach gamelan and other traditional arts to children who had to relocate after their original village was destroyed during Merapi’s 2010 eruption- I have some great cuts of Mas Untong giving me some “Mocopat” lessons- very ancient style of classical Javanese singing-…”

“A very special recording session as a duo with Rully (from Senyawa) at Elo-Progo, near Borobodur- using our voices and responding to the awesome beauty of the location- this recording was made at the location where the founder of Tibetan Buddhist Yellow Hat sect studied meditation with a Javanese master for 12 years before returning to Tibet.”

“Situbondo, East Java- I performed with a Pencak Silat ensemble- very similar musically speaking to “Jathilan” but instead of horse dancers going into trance, it’s kind of like kung fu fighting, except with knives.”

“Malang- Kampung Cempluk- Singo Budoyo and Mas Sutak’s Jathilan group- really insane concert held outside my friend’s house right in the middle of a busy neighborhood, I think there is some footage from this on youtube [see video footage embeded above]…the part that might not be shown in the video is when these two gigantic lions come out and start dancing- I have that footage on my drive, will upload as soon as I can- !”

“If all that wasn’t insane enough, I performed with a Jaranan Tung Dor group in Mojowarno, East Java, to about two thousand people. The four Kuda Lumping dancers went into trance and caused quite a ruckus…there’s some pretty weird footage of this…”

“I have just arrived in Bali after almost a week in Sulawesi, my experience there I could probably write pages and pages about when I have a little bit more time- I was at Lake Danau Lindu, I guess try and google it for a picture? I recorded some very rare styles of traditional Raego and also made some incredible connections and friendships with younger people working very hard to both preserve their traditional culture while also interested in experimenting with and adapting the ancient forms to their experience of contemporary transmodernity. Really big stuff going on here in Indonesia…”