Open letter of Hanoi New Music Festival 2018


Dear friends,
By this point, there is clearly no easy answer exists as to what defines ‘South East Asia’ – culturally, as much as anything else. Or perhaps such impossibility of commonality is the key to understanding ‘South East Asia’. Or perhaps, different as we seem—shaped by the strange forces of history, we are still part of one.
As a region, how do we best celebrate and make the most out of this tension—these two seemingly opposing truths?

“​There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot.​”​ ​(John Cage)​

Perhaps the most primitive and natural thing that a human being can do with their corporeity, is breathing. When one breathes, one creates a movement, and one creates sound. Like many a Zen Buddhist, Cage was keenly aware of this simple fact—his “4:33” exemplifies the attempts at absolute silence that invariably lead to omnipresent sound.
Thus inspired by the impossibility of absolute silence,​​ Make A Silence ​- the 2018 edition of Hanoi New Music Festival – constitutes a survey into sound-makings in South East Asia​, a region traditionally seen as ‘silent’, absent in contemporary music discourses, yet has within and across its ​numerous​ contexts a vast sonic lexicon. Through the two strands of Symposium and Concert/Performance, Hanoi New Music Festival 2018 examines the complex synthesis resulting from a thickly-woven network of sounds – indigenous or originated elsewhere, academic or non-academic.
So what can we learn from our “neighbours” through their artworks and their contemplations on music and sound? Are we more alike or different? We would like to invite you all to our two densely and Symposium Program and our Concert Program, which happens all day long starting from December 16 to 21 this year.
See you there!
Warm regards,
Organizing Team of Hanoi New Music Festival 2018