As the world’s largest archipelago, Indonesia has been at a crossroads of civilization for thousands of years, coming from the eastern and western hemispheres. As a result, a huge diversity of music culture emerged across the country. In the meantime, the global music market has recognized this so-called “world music” genre for the last three decades. The term “world music” refers to traditional and culturally rooted contemporary music such as gamelan, kroncong or dangdut in Indonesia.
After three decades, the international “world music” scene has developed a 10% market share in the global music industry market, reaching approximately USD 6.5 billion. Due to the richness of Indonesian music culture, with the support of the Film, Music and New Media Directorate of the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research of Technology, Franki Raden, composer, ethnomusicologist, and festival director, initiated the first virtual showcase music festival called INDONESIAN MUSIC EXPO (IMEX). That was four years ago. IMEX has grown in popularity and record success since its formation, showcasing the richness and uniqueness of Indonesian world music to the world.
IMEX aims to introduce the artisans, musicians and products of Indonesia’s “world music” to the global market by invitation through the key players and institutions of the world music market. IMEX will be hosted in Ubud, Bali, September 21-24, 2023. These key players (or delegations) include music promoters, producers, record labels, festival directors, music and art venue directors, mass media, music organizations and associations.
Last year, the invited delegates representing the most prominent market institutions and media admitted they were highly impressed with the richness and high quality of music groups performing on the IMEX stage. As a result, Christine Semba, Head of WOMEX Academy (who attended IMEX 2022) agreed to become an organizational partner with IMEX. With this breakthrough, IMEX is the only Indonesian market institution that has become part of the global world music market centered in Europe and the United States.
For this reason, you are invited to witness a unique, diverse, high-quality Indonesian musical production of epic proportion at IMEX in Bali, an event that Simon Broughton, the prominent senior music journalist coined as the “Temple of Rhythm” in Songlines magazine. The IMEX program consists of activities such as exhibitions, film screenings, showcases, talk shows, music demos, conferences and workshops that bring musical highlights from the large islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Eastern Nusa Tenggara, Borneo, Celebes and Papua.
Please join us and witness Indonesia’s diverse musical culture in the Islands of Gods, Bali. This magical island has attracted great composers such as Colin McPhee, Benyamin Britten, Iannis Xenakis, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Toru Takemitsu.
IMEX 2023 and the Musicians
Eta Margondang is a Batak music group that has mastered several North Sumatran musical genres, including Gondang, Karo, Mandailing and Simalungun.
Sako Sarikat is a progressive world music group from Lampung (South Sumatra). Their music is rooted in the Minangkabau musical tradition of West Sumatra.
RAS MUHAMAD feat. INDONESIAN NATIONAL ORCHESTRA (INO)
The Indonesian National Orchestra (INO) consists of various indigenous instruments from across the archipelago. Franki Raden, a prominent Indonesian composer-ethnomusicologist, founded the ensemble. INO will collaborate with the innovative and dynamic Ras Muhamad, a famous Indonesian reggae singer and songwriter living in Bali.
SORA is a world music group from Bandung that draws its inspiration from Sunda and blends it uniquely with Western music. The main characteristics of their music comes from the beautiful sound made from a unique arrangement of angklungs (Sundanese bamboo rattle) that is reconstructed as a single melodic instrument.
Gamelan Selonding is an ancient form of music associated with Bali Aga, the indigenous Balinese ethnic group. The music is usually performed during a specific ritual ceremony. The group performing the ancient gamelan selonding is from Gamelan Suling Gita Semara Studio in Ubud.
Rindik Pinggitan is a dance and music ritual form that disappeared from Bali. However, by special arrangement, Sebali villagers from the Gianyar regency, who happen to still have the original instruments, have worked very hard to revive this unique and historic traditional art form.
Orasare is a jazz fusion group from Ubud that transform many regional songs into jazz. Their ensemble also a mix of western and traditional Indonesian instruments.
NUSA TENGGARA BARAT:
Chandra Irawan is a talented young jazz guitarist from the island of Lombok. His performance will demonstrate how he combines jazz with specific gamelan music from his hometown in an incredible smooth fashion.
NUSA TENGGARA TIMUR:
Marinuz Kevin, a hip-hop singer and songwriter from Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, has developed his music from the songs of his region, which were slowly waning in popularity. He has revived these songs in a very special way, much to the delight of the the younger generation. He has performed at numerous festivals and always captures the imagination and zest of the millennial and Z generations.
Uyau Moris is a young master of Sampek (plucked strings) music from the Iban tribe of North Borneo (Malinau). Moris, an internationally acclaimed Sampek player, usually performing solo, combining his masterful Sampek playing with his lilting and beautiful voice. On some occasions, he will use electronic devices to expand his tribal soundscape. He continuously captivates his audience.
PEPE PEPE BAINE
Pepe Pepe Baine is a ritual performance of the Makassar ethnic group. They employ the element of fire with magic. This performance is rare incredibly special due to the fact that the magical fire dancers are all women. The performers of Pepe Pepe Baine are members of Sirajuddin Dance Studio in Gowa City, South Sulawesi.
PAPUA VOCAL ENSEMBLE
The Papuan people are known for their love of singing, which is strongly rooted within their tribal culture. One of the Papuan tribes known for their unique and beautiful vocal music arrangements is the Dani tribe, who live in Baliem Valley. This unique Papuan vocal ensemble is travelling a long way to Bali from this remote valley in Papua.