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19th Jan 2020


Black Axis




Time & Location

19th Jan 2020

Black Axis, 90 Goodman Rd, #01-49/48 Block L, Singapore 439053

About the event

19 January 2020 (Sunday) 19:00 

Tickets on the Door $12 ($10 for full-time students / seniors / the unemployed) at the door  

We are paddling towards a faint glow We have been adrift for too Long Dreaming of Sand from anywhere Softness to step on Softness to slip into A land imagined  

But Nearing the source, a stunning Revelation  

No lighthouse, only flames The island is on fire Burning trees before us Black sea behind And our weather-beaten raft, caught Between  

BlackKaji. A study of the unseen, unsound, unsuspecting, unsustainable, unstable.  This is a series conceived by Ujikaji and The Observatory.  

Black Axis  Blk L, 01-48 Goodman Arts Centre 90 Goodman Road 

Christoven Tan, Kok Siew Wai and Dirk Stromberg Jyun-Ao Caesar and Yong Yandsen Cheryl Ong (Playing an extended version of her track, Hejira, from the film A Land Imagined, in conjunction with the launch of the A Land Imagined DVD and OST)  

Words by Mark Wong Art direction by Yuen Chee Wai  


Jyun-Ao Caesar  

Jyun-Ao Caesar’s music borrows from both Eric Cordier and Otomo Yoshihide and can be described as an approach toward the composition of Pan-Musique Concrète as proposed by Dajuin Yau. His experience with signal processing, analog amplification, and field recording, as well as his knowledge of space and time led to his adoption of the instrument. He is also a member of Saint Sloth Machine with the impro-percussionist Lala Reich, guitarist Pillof Yau and bassist Weiting Huang. His compositions for the group aim to represent a certain contemplation of humanism and modernity in a non-realist way.  

As a part-time pseudo-improvisor, he has played with Dino, Motoki Yoshinori, Paal Nilssen-Love, Otomo Yoshihide, Rabito Arimoto, Park Daham, Kyosuke Terada, Lala Reich, Tsuruya Genizai, Soma, Lisa Lai and some others not named.   


Kok Siew Wai  

From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Kok Siew-Wai is started out as a video artist, now active as an improvised vocalist and artist-curator. She has shown her works, video curatorial programmes and performed in Asia, Europe, Canada and USA. Siew-Wai has performed in music festivals such as CTM Festival (Germany), allEars Improvised Music Festival (Norway), Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Choppa Experimental and Improvised Music Festival, Playfreely Festival (Singapore), RRRec Fest, Nusasonic Festival (Indonesia), amongst others. In music, Siew-Wai is interested in improvisation and the exploration of expressions with the human voice.  


Cheryl Ong  

A Singaporean percussionist who is active in music performance and education, Cheryl regularly performs with avant rock group, The Observatory. Though classically trained, Cheryl consistently struggles with the fact that classical music can be divisive and limited to its roles. Tired of being a mere technician, Cheryl has gone on to explore improvisational and experimental practices in recent years, hunting down new ideas and sounds. Her recent performances include Angelica  Festival 2019 (Bologna); ‘Kombo’ a programme for CTM Festival 2019 (Berlin); Nusasonic Festival 2018 (Yogyakarta) and Zai Tang’s immersive ‘Spectre’ installation at the Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2017. Her track ‘Hejira’ was used in the closing credits of Singaporean filmmaker Yeo Siew Hua’s award winning film, ‘A Land Imagined’.   


Dirk Stromberg  

Dirk Johan Stromberg is an American music technologist, composer, and improviser. His body of work explores the dynamic interaction between performer, technology and performance practice. Designing both hardware and software has led to the development of a variety of interfaces, synthesis techniques, installation works, electro-acoustic instruments, and interdisciplinary production works.  

Current projects include a series of presentations and development of his tactille interactive installation “Line Segments” and the collaborative video and movement work “Images of Ascension”. His touring has led to a number of performances in Asia, North America and Europe including Moers Festival (Moers Germany), KLEX Festival (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Map Festival (Melaka, Malaysia), Choppa Festival (Singapore), Open Waters Festival (Halifax, Canada), Duong Dai Festival (HCMC and Hanoi, Vietnam), M1 Fringe Festival (Singapore) and Dear Himalaya From Chiang Mai (Chiang Mai, Thailand).  

Dirk Stromberg has been developing a number of hardware projects, most notably his Phallophone, an electro-acoustic sensor-based instrument. He is developing repertoire for the instrument with composers around the world, creating his own repertoire, while also touring and presenting his work and research as a musician and technologist.   


Christoven Tan   

Christoven Tan is a contemporary artist with a passion for constant redefinition of contemporary viola performance and the artist, himself. Christoven relies heavily on engaging contemporary practice and methodologies within western classical music of today and is constantly looking to program new works or ideas. It is his mission to give voice to an unheard narrative and investigate the human desire to listen.  


Yong Yandsen  

Yong Yandsen is an improvised saxophonist. He has played at the Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Mosaic Festival Singapore, Choppa Eclectic Improvised Music Festival (Singapore), allEars Festival (Norway), Music Matters Festival (Sri Lanka) amongst others. Yandsen, together with Darren Moore and Brian O’Reily, form the improvised trio called Game of Patience. They have toured to Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. In 2018, he joined another trio with Christian Meaas Svendsen and Paal Nilssen-Love. Yandsen has also done several solo tours to Japan and Taiwan. He is the co-founder of a Malaysian record label, LaoBan Records, focusing on releasing contemporary improvised music.

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