The Alkisah Network: an experiment in distributed community building and transglobal local engagement Panel with Marianna Lis, Morgan Sully, 沈若潭 Ruò Tán, Sandria Komalasari
A number of speakers will explore the rich and inextricable interactions between music and sociality, asking how music cultures actively shape social life, and vice versa.
Senyawa’s Alkisah was an experiment in distributed music distribution; giving their music freely to those all over the globe who wanted to be involved, Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi enabled new modes of creativity and collaboration to emerge through recorded audio. While club music is often thought of as an escape from reality, Geoffrey Mak’s lecture performance, with music by Via App, examines how club music can be a way of making deeper contact with an embodied reality on the dance floor through a practice of meditation. Preeminent Black studies scholar Dhanveer Singh Brar discusses his new book Teklife, Ghettoville, Eski – The Sonic Ecologies of Black Music in the Early 21st Century, uncovering how Black electronic dance music enables the reorganisation of urban social life, and can subvert the logics of racial capitalism. He is joined by founding member of the influential Black Audio Film Collective Edward George whose work has examined dub through questions of diaspora, race, history, memory, longing, and loss, uncovering much in the reveries of dub, in its strangeness, and its margins; together the two consider shared resonances across their work.
The Alkisah Network: an experiment in distributed community building and transglobal local engagement
Panel with Marianna Lis, Morgan Sully, 沈若潭 Ruò Tán, Sandria Komalasari
In 2021, Senyawa issued an open call inviting independent music labels worldwide to co-release their album Alkisah by creating different versions of the work for different national markets. Senyawa encouraged variations on physical formats, production strategies, and even reinterpretations of the songs. This choice was a political statement promoting decentralization of the music industry as much as an attempt to build music communities during and after the pandemic. Despite the DIY, online organization, the project had a massive impact in terms of economic and logistic efficiency, with a dramatic dissemination of artistic productions and exceptional interest and coverage by top tier press. Conversely, economic, linguistic, and logistic inequalities prevented the organization from becoming a truly global and egalitarian construct as hoped in the premises.
A year later, the namesake network has generated a plethora of different outputs and collaborations between scattered members and communities in very different ways, continuing to this day as an enterprise completely independent from Senyawa. How should such networks be employed to enhance creative exchange and pragmatic action? What are their potentialities? How can these networks work in terms of inclusion and care, with special reference to issues of eurocentrism, orientalism, and cis-male normativity?
For this panel, participants of the Network have organized a space of discussion in which members of Soydivision/L_KW, Chaos Non Musica, and WV Sorcerer Productions will critically consider and engage with some of the project’s learning experiences. Furthermore, selected audio-video materials documenting the Network’s’ creative labour and effort as well as their reflexive processes of self-interrogation will be showcased alongside a collection of musical contributions from Network’s participants in the form of a Buy Music Club playlist and a mixtape especially realised for the event. Read more on the Alkisah Network and check mixes and playlists here.