For two weeks in December 2018, we had the pleasure of hosting our first musician/composer in residence, Ms Francesca Vincentie, native of Sweden but with ancestral roots in Indonesia.
Francesca was working on a large composition exploring those roots and her other ones in north Sweden, particularly, through story-telling, so, at her request (and our improvisation) we arranged interviews with various people; exposed her to the art of old Javanese story-telling at a performance of Wayang Orang Bharata (with live gamelan); witnessed rehearsals of traditional Javanese dance; visited the remarkable Gong Home Factory in Bogor and interviewed a gong artisan in the process of creating the instrument; captured sounds in an oil-palm plantation and a national park (an epic journey of several hours up and down treacherous mountain roads on the Sanggar O motorbike); danced to ‘dangdut’ (the ‘music of my country’) at a party at the sanggar; met scientists at an international agricultural research centre; visited the Bogor Botanical Gardens and an orangutan rescue society; and recorded vocals for Bengawan Solo, conducted interviews and explored traditional instruments from across the archipelago with our nearby friends at Sanggar Musik Mahagenta.
During all of this, Francesca managed to relax and find time to think, leading to her putting together the structure of her composition, which fluttered like white butterflies on the backstage wall.
We very much hope to see Francesca again.
You can listen to some demo tracks of Francesca’s here.
Follow Francesca on Instagram.
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