Opportunities > Common Tonalities | Southeast Asian new music workshop call
31 Oct 2021

Common Tonalities | Southeast Asian new music workshop call

Common Tonalities is part of the Nusasonic initiative of SE Asia Goethe-Institutes that explores Southeast Asian tuning systems and scales through modern music technologies for the creation of new music. Applications invited from musicians, composers and sound artists from or living in Southeast Asia for a collaborative workshop and album production project.

In the Philippines, Maranao and Magindanao musicians tuned their gongs based on the first gong they had created and based the succeeding gongs and notes accordingly; thus, no two sets of gongs are exactly the same. This is also true with Indonesian Gamelan instruments, and traditional musical forms. This shows that music from Southeast Asia does not conform to Western tuning concepts or standards.

Widely available music production tools are largely based on the Western system of twelve tone Equal Temperament and the tuning reference of A = 440 Hz. Recent software development by collaborations of artists such as Khyam Allami with software developers like Counterpoint (Leimma, Apotome) and Aphex Twin and Oddsound (MTS-ESP) have been pushing to allow creative access to systems outside twelve-tone equal temperament.

Nusasonic advocates for an expansion of sonic palettes with a focus on music from Southeast Asia. We invite participants to a series of workshops, led by Khyam Allami, that focus on the subject of tuning and the cultural biases in music technologies, the practical analysis of tuning systems of Southeast Asian music based on published resources and archival recordings, and how to use them in various creative musical processes. Participants are expected to attend all workshops and create new pieces of music with tonalities, scales, and rhythms endemic to Southeast Asia. Common Tonalities will culminate in a freely accessible compilation album grouping the resulting new tracks.

The workshop is free but limited to 15 participants, who will be selected via open call. Interested artists and practitioners are invited to apply. Please make sure the following criteria apply:

  • Musicians, composers, and sound artists living and working in Southeast Asia or artists from Southeast Asia living and working elsewhere
  • Experience with software-driven music composition and production
  • Available to join for the entire workshop and creation process
  • Willing to create and publish a track as part of the resulting album/compilation
  • Previous work or research on non-Western tuning systems is not necessary, but a plus

Application Deadline: Sun, 31 October 2021

Nusasonic is a multi-year project that plunges into a broad spectrum of experimental sound and music cultures in Southeast Asia, enabling dialogue within the region, with Europe, and beyond. Adopting a multi-perspective approach, the project is collaboratively created by Yes No Klub (Yogyakarta), WSK Festival of the Recently Possible (Manila), Playfreely/BlackKaji (Singapore), and CTM Festival for Adventurous Music & Art (Berlin). Nusasonic is an initiative of the Goethe-Institutes in Southeast Asia.