Home / Entertainment / Serious Play Improv Lab music series returns to the stage in KL this weekend

After almost two years of no live performances, the small community of experimental artists and musicians are finally returning to the stage for Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL) this Saturday (Oct 23) at The Percussion Store at Jalan Panggong in Kuala Lumpur.

This music series is an art laboratory that focuses on music experimentation and improvisation. It provides a platform for musicians from various backgrounds to collaborate and present new collective expressions.

It falls under the umbrella of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video and Music Festival (KLEX), an independent, artist- and volunteer-run grassroots international festival of experimental film, video art and m

Serious Play Improv Lab music series returns to the stage in KL this weekend

After almost two years of no live performances, the small community of experimental artists and musicians are finally returning to the stage for Serious Play Improv Lab (SPIL) this Saturday (Oct 23) at The Percussion Store at Jalan Panggong in Kuala Lumpur.

This music series is an art laboratory that focuses on music experimentation and improvisation. It provides a platform for musicians from various backgrounds to collaborate and present new collective expressions.

It falls under the umbrella of the Kuala Lumpur Experimental Film, Video and Music Festival (KLEX), an independent, artist- and volunteer-run grassroots international festival of experimental film, video art and music.

The last SPIL was held in February 2020, before the nationwide postponement of live events in line with the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.

The upcoming SPIL – SPIL 061 – will feature artist-curator and vocal improviser Kok Siew Wai (voice), free jazz and improvised saxophonist Yong Yandsen (tenor sax), Chinese dizi and xiao (both types of Chinese flutes) improviser Yii Kah Hoe and Ping Wei, a saxophonist who performs experimental music.

Saxophonist Yong Yandsen will be part of SPIL 061 on Oct 23. Photo: Asian Meeting FestivalSaxophonist Yong Yandsen will be part of SPIL 061 on Oct 23. Photo: Asian Meeting Festival

“It is kind of like a ‘welcome back!’ gesture from our ‘house band’ and frequent collaborators. We are excited that we can work again on providing a platform for experimental and unconventional music in KL.

“In some ways, the break was also good for us to take a break to reflect and refresh. We look forward to opening our doors to the audience and also wish to attract good musicians from various backgrounds to approach us if they are open for improvisation and experimentation,” says Kok, who is KLEX’s co-founder and co-director.

Kok Siew Wai's area of improv is the exploration of expressions with the human voice. Photo: Magnus CalebKok Siew Wai’s area of improv is the exploration of expressions with the human voice. Photo: Magnus Caleb

This will be a small concert, with a maximum capacity of 15 people (fully vaccinated individuals).

Tickets are RM30, call 019-770 2498. Doors open at 8pm.

The concert will also be live streamed.

Although there will be no KLEX Festival this year, the SPIL series is back to its monthly programming. A number of screenings are also in the works.

The SPIL series (2021-2022) is funded by the International Relief Fund for Organisations in Culture and Education 2021 of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe-Institut and other partners.

“KLEX would like to express our deepest gratitude to the International Relief Fund for Organisations in Culture and Education 2021 of the German Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe Institute and other partners for supporting the restoration of the SPIL series after the pandemic,” says Kok.

For next month’s (Nov) edition of SPIL, singer-songwriter Azmyl Yunor, Ruan player Ong May Yi, dancer Tan Bee Hung and saxophonist Scarlet Gouk, will be part of the lab.



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