A Million Tears (featuring Muhammad Alkatiri, Denise Jillian Tan, Izzad Radzali Shah and Bubbles), 2018, a corrupted documentation of an oratory performance with a revised sound work in collaboration with karat, high definition in colour with sound, 55:35

A project part of After Ballads

The oratory performance was a collision of melodies inspired from dikir barat (sung and improvised by Muhammad Alkatiri) and fengtau (sung and improvised by Denise Jillian Tan) interlaced with varied manners of reading a poem by Izzad Radzali Shah against a reading by speech generator named Bubbles and found sounds re-composed by karat.

Conceived as part of [prep-room DRILLS]
After Ballads
Thursday, 8 February 2018, 7pm
prep-room, NX2, NUS Museum

As part of his ongoing presentation, After Ballads, artist Fyerool Darma delivers an oratory performance of Tuan Siami's "Syair Potong Gaji (1831)", and Abdullah Abdul Kadir's "Poem to Mr Raffles and his wife (circa 1840s)" and "Syair Singapura Terbakar (1830)" through players Denise Jillian Tan, Muhammad Alkatiri, Izzad Radzali Shah, and Bubbles, with the translation support of Said Effendy. Conceived as a response to Radio Malaya: Abridged Conversations about Art, this prep-room project weaves text, objects and artefactual materials from the museum’s collection together, in an effort to address the spectres that continue to haunt and shape contemporary consciousness. The prep-room is part of the artist’s current exploration of the intersection of history, language and literature through the utilisation and distortion of institutional archives, employing a unique visual vocabulary that continues to evolve with his practice.

[prep-room DRILLS] is a series of public presentations of ongoing research and studio works by invited practitioners and researchers. Invited to work around the open-ended framework of the NUS Museum’s prep-room, the collaborators engage with the framework of the prep-room and its features to interpose objects within the permanent collection or research trajectories of the NUS Museum. DRILLS introduces many explicit and tacit modes of working by the artists and researchers within the context of a University Museum.

The title of the work was drawn out from a fengtau music of the same title by Groove Coverage that had been re-written and re-sung in multiple Singaporean languages. Where in some instances was a phenomenonal anthem at neighbourhood bazaars in Singapore.

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