Kombo is a DIY platform that aims to facilitate and develop Indonesia’s improv music scene while researching and testing alternative sonic and compositional methods. It also aims to expose artists and audiences to new perspectives on how to appreciate these methods. The initiative was started in 2014 by vocalist Rully Shabara (of duo Senyawa), and Satya Prapanca, with local musicians being invited to play spontaneous music together with at least one invited guest musician who happened to be visiting the city of Yogyakarta at the time. Artists were invited regardless of their musical scenes or genres, or what instruments or tools they used in their practice.
Kombo has since continued gathering in different situations and constellations, and has further participated in several local performance events, and offered workshops. For its iteration at CTM Festival, Rully Shabara is joined by experimental electronics artist Bhakti Prasetyo, percussionists Cheryl Ong and Ramberto Agozalie, experimental vocalist Kok Siew-Wai, improvisor Yuen Chee Wai, and other musicians.
The Kombo project is part of Nusasonic, an initiative of Goethe-Institut Southeast Asia that is collaboratively curated by Yes No Wave (Yogyakarta), WSK Festival of the Recently Possible (Manila), Playfreely/Black Kaji (Singapore), and CTM Festival (Berlin).
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