What is “Nada Nusantara” about? 

Nada Nusantara is a project that explores music through experimental play and study. 

The initiative started by Malaysian composer, Marzelan Salleh, aimed not only to create new compositions but encourage new learnings that could be discovered from examining all the elements connected to creating music. 

This encompasses technique, musical form, rhythm and harmony as well as the non-musical influences, such as colours, stories, inspirations from nature, self-play and culture. 

Initially planned to be a live jam-session between composers and musicians from Malaysia and the UK, the programme was redesigned to take place fully online due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Ultimately, Nada Nusantara ensued as quasi-improvisational performances that incorporated theatrics to tell a story, convey emotions and entertain the audience. 

The final showcase demonstrates the creativity of three composers; Northern Irish composer, Simon Mawhinney with a piece entitled, "Left Thumb" from Solo Fingers, Kostis Tsioulakis, with a composition entitled "The Tree" and Marzelan Salleh’s compositions with soprano singer, Ang Mei Foong in collaboration with actor, Rosdeen Suboh. 

Why did “Nada Nusantara” get supported by the British Council? 

As a recipient of the UK-Southeast Asia Connections Through Culture Grant 2019-2021, 

Nada Nusantara gained support from the British Council for its concept that encourages musical diversity and artistic exchanges through contemporary music in Malaysia and abroad. 

The composers and musicians involved in the project were enabled to explore the processes involved in composing and transforming musical gestures into a quasi-improvisational performance, that were ultimately influenced by each other’s techniques and culture. 

Get to know artists that were involved in Nada Nusantara!  

Marzelan Salleh is the founder, composer, and music director of Nada Nusantara. His music are inspired by contemporary music methods deriving from diverse nuances of Asian music, with performances in United Kingdom and Malaysia at major international music festivals and concerts. 

Ang Mei Foong, an award-winning soprano, is a recipient of the Golden Medal Award from the Berliner International Music Competition in Sep 2018, and most recently received the award of the Best Solo Performance (Vocal) in the 16th Boh Cameron Arts Awards 2019. 

Rosdeen Suboh, is an experienced actor, director, and scriptwriter with three theatres under his direction. He was awarded as the Best Male Film Actor at the 33rd Malaysia Film Festival 2019. 

Discover more Connections Through Culture collaborations here!  

Take advantage of the myriad of opportunities from British Council here.