By Irma Chantily, Programme Manager (Arts and Creative Economy)

07 November 2016 - 22:26

Robbie playing his Tesla coil - XFRMR at Yogyakarta
Robbie playing his Tesla coil XFRMR at the Yogyakarta event called Orkestroom. ©

Adhari Donora - Lifepatch

When Glaswegian artist Robbie Thomson started his piece XFRMR in NuArt Bandung for the opening of our UK/ID Festival 2016 in October, the audience held their breath. The electronic music made using a tesla coil and electricity as part of this amazing visual installation was something completely new and had never been seen here before. The sound was deep, the video mapping was hypnotising and the electricity coming out of the tesla coil was mesmerising.

Robbie Thomson being interviewed on TV in Surabaya.
In Surabaya Robbie was interviewed by a local national TV station. It was a fun moment, and we didn’t let language barrier became an issue!
Robbie Thomson hanging out with local artists in Indonesia.
Robbie was introduced to local artists, including WAFT crew and Hyper Allergic (Robbie's new favourite band!), making new friends and developing connections. 
Robbie Thomson surrouded by audience members whilst performing his tesla coil instrument in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Electronic music made using tesla coil and electricity is really something new. During his first performance in Yogyakarta, Robbie was surrounded by audience members to see how it really works.
Robbie Thomson talking to audience members after his performance in Yogyakarta.
A lot of people came to the performance in Yogyakarta and were very eager to speak to Robbie afterwards to show their appreciation of his work.
Jogja Noise Bombing 2016
Yogyakarta based music colective, Jogja Noise Bombing, performing at Orkestroom with Robbie Thomson ©

Adhari Donora - Lifepatch

The opening night was a huge success, with around 300 people attended the event. Robbie’s work toured from Bandung to Surabaya and Yogyakarta, three of Indonesia’s main scenes for arts, and especially electronic and multimedia art. In Surabaya, Robbie performed after the local band Hyper Allergic as part of Kalimas Festival, an arts and culture festival organised by East Java Arts Council, and he was interviewed by a local national TV station. 

After Surabaya, Robbie went straight to Yogyakarta. I personally think the performance in Yogyakarta was the wildest. The electricity, the sound, the ambience - everything was just fantastic. Around 200 people came to watch the performance, and two local groups,  Jogja Noise Bombing and Yogyakarta Synth Ensemble performed before Robbie.

The performance was followed by an open lab day organised by Lifepatch for anyone interested in collaborating with Robbie and the tesla coil to make music. Robbie was joined by Andreas Siagian (Yogyakarta), Emil Palme (Denmark), Johanes Hardjono (Semarang), Andryan Ade (Salatiga), Iqbal Lubis (Malang), Patrick Hartono (Jakarta) and their own instruments ranging from synthesisers to guitars.

It was very interesting to see the tesla became part of a whole group of other instruments - and the collaboration was a great success!