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Arrington de Dionyso/Greg Saunier/Phoebe Osborne plus screening of REAK: Trance Music and Possession in West Java
Apr 16, 2016 @ 8:00 pm - 11:55 pm| $10
The NYC debut of the shocking new film REAK: Trance Music and Possession in West Java- followed by riveting trance possessions of a different sort in the thundering duo of Arrington de Dionyso (of Old Time Relijun and Malaikat dan Singa- bass clarinet and throatsinging) and Gregory Saunier (of Deerhoof and The Curtains- drums!) accompanied by dancer Phoebe Osborne.
Info on the film follows- screening begins at 8pm followed by the concert at 9pm- a $10 donation is requested but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
Unheard Indonesia presents:
REAK: TRANCE MUSIC AND POSSESSION IN WEST JAVA
dir. Arrington de Dionyso, 2016
60 minutes DVD
Filmed in November 2015 in a small village near Bandung, Indonesia, REAK brings the viewer immediately to the center of a Reak trance ceremony as it unfolds. The drums pound without pause as a group of adolescent boys dance, twist, and thrash about the inside circle, a strange integration of movements from “Pencak Silat” and a punk rock mosh pit. They believe they are possessed by the spirits of natural forces. The intensity of the possession rises and falls throughout the ceremony as elders acting as “shamans” give exorcisms to heal the boys of their afflictions, while a smiling woman weaves in and out of the dancing youths passing out snacks and water like a cheering Soccer Mom.
The film documents a rarely researched phenomenon within Indonesian culture, unknown even to many Indonesians. It also features a unique international collaboration between the artists of Reak Sanca Birawa and American self-taught musician Arrington de Dionyso (also of the groups Old Time Relijun, Malaikat dan Singa) bringing his free jazz-inspired bass clarinet playing to the ritual space in a way that is surprisingly seamless and natural, as if the guttural growls of his instrument only belonged there all along, providing the low-end counterpoint to the higher-pitched wail of the double reed Sundanese “tarompet”.
The film contains footage that may be disturbing to some, and persons prone to seizures are advised to use caution when viewing.
CREDITS- Edited by Arrington de Dionyso and Andrew Ebright
camerawork by Palmer Keen, Ibrahim Memes Ukrin and Mochammad Idham Pratama
sound mastering by Nathan Gibson
special thanks to the community of Reak Sanca Birawa without whose enthusiastic participation this work would have been impossible.