Three is company

Posted on October 19, 2013



Firstly, a sincere apology for the lack of blogging. We have been flat-out in the studio.

Since we last wrote we have made lots of progress. Through the blood, sweat and tears we have locked in a rough 2/3rds of the piece and through the remarkable work of Bilqis Hijjas we have found a collaborator…

After a long mission in the teksi to get to DPAC we made it, just a little late for Spirits Play, a remarkable work involving , butoh performers, dancers, musicians, and film artists from Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Japan and Indonesia. The work had a really big onstage cast but there was one musician who we couldn’t take our eyes and ears off. When we first noticed him (playing the Didgeridoo), we exchanged an excited and knowing glance, we had to meet him.

Introducing Gideon Alubakhan Chen a.k.a Aluba:


Gideon is an experienced guitarist and music composer. He was involved in various Hands Percussion performances, including “Chaos in Unison” (2008), “Dialogue in Skin” (2010) performed in Australia, “Rhapsodrums” (2010) and the recent performance entitled “Knocking” (2011).

Gideon has 15 years of experience in guitar training and he has been actively involved in an underground music band, playing alternative, heavy rock, metal rock etc. In addition, he also loves to experience and explore other types of music instruments such as Gu Qin, Sitar, Samisen and also the Australian native music instrument, Didgeridoo.

Through music and creativity, he finds his inner peace and meaning of life.

Aluba is a crazily talented musician, playing a wide variety of instruments and styles. From rock, to traditional, to experimental. He agreed to venture out to RImbun Dahan and have a couple of days with us in the studio. With him he brought 10 or so musical instruments including an Electric Guitar, Udu, Didgeridoo, Tibetan bowls, Symbols, and Gu Qin, all of which he plays with a variety of bows, picks, and drum sticks.

We showed him what we have been working on so far and then we went through, bit by bit, dancing to an improvised soundscape. Although he is just one person, he managed to fill out the sound beautifully, and after just two days together we got a rough draft down.

We were really keen to have his work influence ours. As he was playing with different moods and instruments, we were inspired to investigate what the music was telling us. We questioned how we might shift some of the sections either in physicality or performance quality.

It was really great to have Aluba in the studio to offer a new feeling to the space and work, letting go of what the shorter work has been up until this point and beginning to understand what the new work might look like. We have discovered that sometimes choreographing is sort of like a jigsaw puzzle, one that has no cover picture to help guide you, in fact the picture might not even appear on the puzzle pieces until they are all connected. And there in lies the challenge and the fun.

We will be working with Aluba again soon but in the mean time we will forge ahead, having a go at layering movement with different qualities (inspired by Aluba’s process) and starting to time the sections for his score.

Thank you Aluba.

Gembira berjumpa anda!

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