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Iwan Gunawan - composer

​Composer, musician, educator and music director Iwan Gunawan, (1974 Bandung, Indonesia), among West Java’s leading composers today, began playing Sundanese gamelan at the age of six. He studied composition with Dieter Mack and piano with Iswargia R. Sudarno at IKIP Bandung (now Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, UPI). He later studied composition with Suka Hardjana, Slamet Abdul Sjukur, and with Rahayu Supanggah at the Institut Seni Indonesia Surakarta (Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Surakarta).

During his music studies, he focused not only on his native Sundanese (West Java) traditions, but also on Western conventions. He has forged an unusual musical career which places value on both his own West Javanese roots as well as on composing and performing Western music at a professional level.

In his compositions he uses contemporary structures, international instrumentation and sometimes live electronics, engaging with a wide range of music made today from vernacular to hybrid experimental forms.
Among Gunawan’s recent honours are a
2017 residency at the Künstlerhaus Villa Waldberta in Feldafing (together with choreographer Aafke de Jong) in Germany and a 2019 residency at the Indonesian Embassy, London, England where he collaborated with UK gamelan communities.

His music has been performed in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, UK, Uzbekhistan and Vietnam.

Gunawan established his own gamelan-based ensemble Kyai Fatahillah in 2004 to showcase his own and other contemporary works. The success of Kyai Fatahillah’s Berlin premiere reinforced the proposition that gamelan and Western musical aesthetics are not necessarily contradictory - but rather that they could be complementary. They could enrich one another as long as there is adequate mutual understanding and rehearsal time in line with musical needs.

Gunawan continues to represent Indonesia on the international stage as artistic collaborator, composer, musician and ensemble leader.


Website Iwan Gunawan/Kyai Fatahillah

Aafke de Jong - choreographer


Choreographer and visual artist Aafke De Jong (1971 Den Haag, The Netherlands), creates multidisciplinary dance performances of a magical and expressive nature under the name AFK Away From Keyboard.

Her work shows a great attention to detail and resonates a sensitivity to her surroundings.

De Jong graduated in 1993 from the Rotterdam Dance Academy (now Codarts Hogeschool voor de Kunsten) where she was trained in contemporary Western dance. She learned a different truth when she went to study in Indonesia after her dance studies. There she became fascinated by the introspective, stylized movement style that very consciously uses the breath and can therefore be subdued and expressive at the same time. A silent force.

Back in the Netherlands, she began creating dance performances, sometimes site-specific, in which the visual element plays an important role. So far her performances were shown in European countries and in Indonesia.

De Jong is often inspired by movements or cultural aspects from Indonesian cultures. In addition, processes in nature - and thus in ourselves - are a great source of inspiration and comfort in Aafke's life and work.

For De Jong, the creative process is a search for the essence of our humanity. AFK Away From keyboard, however, is not looking for ready-made answers. There must remain room for mystery.

AFK Away From Keyboard often collaborates with artists and performers from different art disciplines. Through these connections, De Jong aims to continually reinvent himself. She hopes that this encounter gives the audience something to identify with on many levels.

Website Aafke de Jong/AFK Away From Keyboard

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