Connections Through Culture is an arts initiative from the British Council in East Asia. Their now decade long programme in China has supported a great number of arts professionals, and this new open call was launched in Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Pararatronic, our submission with Indonesian artist Kuntari – aka Tesla Manif – was selected, an electronic music project preserving elements of traditional Indonesian music. The name refers to the historic Indonesian text the Pararaton, which talks of legacy and contradiction – all very real struggles in today’s Indonesia, particularly the clash between modernisation and traditional culture.
In early 2020, we recorded traditional musicians in Indonesia with Kuntari, in the cities of Surakarta and Bandung. He was to later travel to the UK to perform Pararatronic at our Plugged event in London, but as the Coronavirus situation shut down the world, plans were halted and changed to an online performance from his Bandung studio as part of an evening of streamed concerts (watch below, at approx 1 hour 5 minutes into the video).