Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL 036) is happy to feature a special guest from Mexico this month – musician, singer and performer Sarmen Almond. Also on the bill are KL-based German percussionist Max Riefer, and KL natives Sudarshan Chandra Kumar, Kok Siew Wai and Yong Yandsen. Mark your calendar and spread the word! See you there!

Date: Friday, 11 August 2017, 8:30pm

Venue: RAW Art Space, No. 8, 4th floor, Jalan Panggong, 50000 Kuala Lumpur

Admission by suggested donation RM20

About the Musicians:

Sarmen Almond is a Mexican musician, singer and performer. After finishing composition and singing in Mexico City she traveled to Paris in 2007 to work under Linda Wise and Enrique Prado’s teaching, especially in choreographic theatre’s principles and in Roy Hart extended vocal techniques. She then moved to Belfast, UK where she finished her Master in Sonic Arts (Interdisciplinary Arts) at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast.

Sarmen has performed and taught in Mexico City, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Falmouth, Sheffield, London, York, Belfast, Paris, Malerargues, Seville, Prague, Manchester (Luminosity by Marina Abramovic & Mirror Check by Joan Jonas), The Hague, Utrecht, among others. Nowadays Sarmen is working closely with Jonathan Hart (NY) to prepare herself deeper on Roy Hart Voice Tradition. In Mexico City Sarmen is training on Reiki Therapy and Researching about Voice Technique and Breathing healing and Movement. Sarmen has two main projects:

1. St’art moveS: Her work aims for the interdisciplinarity in performance using the human voice in relationship with new technologies to create compositions and de- compositions of the personality on stage. St’art moveS also functions as a training platform; Sarmen teaches voice technique, performance and improvisation to scenic artist.

2. Man In Motion: Electronic and alternative music duo. Sarmen Almond and Omar Lied shape this project with down tempos, deep bases, and trip-hop influences.

MAX RIEFER (Germany) founded his first new music ensemble at the age of 18. Currently, he is the percussionist with Inverspace (Switzerland) and Zero Crossing (Germany/Singapore). He has also played with renowned groups like Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt) or Zeitkratzer (Berlin). Max Riefer is “Chair of Percussion Studies” at UiTM Faculty of Music/Malaysia. Previously, he was lecturer on the percussion faculty at Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland. Furthermore, he had been invited as guest lecturer at the Birmingham Conservatoire (UK); Toho Gakuen School of Music; Tokyo Ongaku Daigaku (Japan) or the National University of Singapore amongst others. Performances at international festivals including „MaerzMusik” (Berlin), „Tokyo Experimental Festival“ (Japan), “Wien Modern” (Austria), or “two days and two nights of new music” (Odessa, Ukraine). Max Riefer has received several awards and scholarships including those from the German National Merit Foundation, the Arts Foundation Baden-Württemberg (all Germany), Toho Orchestra Academy of Japan, and a residency-scholarship by Tokyo Wonder Site, Japan. Premieres by composers like Dieter Mack, Peter Edwards, Nicolaus A. Huber or Keiko Harada. Collaborations with musicians such as flutist Robert Aitken, guitarist Nathan Fischer, percussionists Bob Becker, Emmanuel Sejourné, or Fritz Hauser. After focusing on instrumental projects, Riefer has broaden his sphere with intercultural and -disciplinary projects involving dance, acting, electro-acoustical music, and video. Broadcastings at radio stations such as DeutschlandRadio Kultur, DLF, Saarländischer Rundfunk, SWR 2 (all Germany), and BBC 3. His first solo album will be released in 2016.

Sudarshan Chandra KUMAR has performed for the CHOPPA Music Fest (Singapore), Playfreely (Singapore), Switch On (Malaysia) and KLEX Festival (Malaysia). He participates in Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL) regularly, a monthly experimental music series in Kuala Lumpur. Sudarshan has contributed vocals and live electronics to the following bands: HKPT, Takdir, Sorry and Think!Tadpole!Think!. Working with music for theatre, he is the music facilitator for Main Wayang (2015-2016), a children’s theatre workshop which emphasizes on the basics for orchestrating D.I.Y multimedia performances and has directed and scored music for his musical “The Propitiation of Fundamentals” (2015).

KOK Siew-Wai is a vocal improviser, artist-organiser and video artist. She has performed in festivals such as Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Choppa Experimental Music Festival (Singapore), Playfreely Festival (Singapore), RRRec Fest (Indonesia), E-Poetry Festival (USA) and more. Her video text + vocal improvisation performance piece “Language of Self” is collected by He Xiangning Art Museum in Shenzhen, China.

YONG Yandsen is an improvised saxophonist. He has played at the Kuala Lumpur Contemporary Music Festival, Asian Meeting Festival (Japan), Mosaic Festival Singapore, Choppa Eclectic Improvised Music Festival (Singapore), Turn Around Free Jazz & Improvisation Festival (Singapore), Music Matters Festival (Sri Lanka) amongst others. Yandsen, together with Darren Moore and Brian O’Reily, form an improvised trio called Game of Patience. They have toured to Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They released debut CD album “Trial and Error” and a vinyl album “The Bad Sleeps Well”.


SPIL is a project of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video & Music Festival (KLEX) launched in May 2014. It aims to create exposure and understanding, and to facilitate local, regional and international collaborations and exchanges for experimental and improvised music in Malaysia.

More info: [email protected]