#31 Pun Tabe Pun by Jeprut Artist Community
#31 Pun Tabe Pun by Jeprut Artist Community

This edition of Journal is taking a phonic turn, from the musicians and members of the Jeprut artist community who performed as part of Greed Rakus Geirig presented at the Long House for Dark Mofo 2023. The featured recording titled Pun Tabe Pun, is a Sundanese saying which translates as asking permission of our ancestors whom have passed away.

The Jeprut artist community was founded in the 1980s in Bandung, West Java. Indonesian artist, Tisna Sanjaya is a leading figure in this community movement, and has gone on to produce many collaborative performance based art actions within this unique movement. Jeprut is a Sundanese term for a regenerative force. The performances held as part of Dark Mofo in partnership with Contemporary Art Tasmania and Project Eleven were a rare blend of contemporary, ephemeral, immersive spaces for shared experience steeped in traditional Sundanese spiritual practice understood through the global scope of art as activism.

This recording was engineered by Chris Townend, recorded at Frying Pan Studios at MONA. It is the first ever professional recording made by the musicians collectively.


Jeprut Musicians

Bi Raspi – Ronggeng Gunung – Last Hope

Sundanese singer, Bi Raspi, is from Banjarsari sub-district, Ciamis Regency, West Java. Ronggeng itself comes from the word renggana, which means female idol in Sanskrit. In the Sundanese Encyclopaedia, Nature, Man and Culture, the title ronggeng is only given to women who not only sing, but also dance in exchange for money. Ronggeng Gunung means that the dancer comes from a mountainous area. Bi Raspi is the last known Ronggeng Gunung singer, due to the extinction of the culture and the difficulties of learning the craft by the new generations less interested in Ronggeng Gunung.


Ayi Ruhat – The King’s Messenger

Both singer and kecapi player (a traditional Sundanese stringed instrument), Ayi comes from Subang, West Java. During the Pajajaran Kingdom, the position of court jester was given a special position by the King. The court jester had a higher position than Ki Lèngsèr or even the Prime Minister. The court jester was trusted to convey the king’s orders and wishes by using language and songs that captivated the heart. Therefore, court jesters are often referred to as the king’s advisors because of their knowledge and artistic talent. Ayi is self-taught after watching one of his elders, Aang Didi, recite Sundanese pantun without text while playing the lute. Ayi is also a powerful healer, the one who can cure muscle pain.


Yoyon Darsono – A Man of Many Musical Abilities

Yoyon comes from Bandung, Cibiru District, West Java. Rebab is a traditional Sundanese musical instrument that is played by plucking. The role of rebab is very important because one of its functions is as a melody carrier. The person who plays the rebab is called juru rebab. In Sundanese art performances, the existence of juru rebab is very important, its existence is necessary in most types of Sundanese art performances, for example: Wayang Golek, Kiliningan, Tap Tilu, Tembang Sunda Cianjuran, Jaipongan. The Sundanese flute is a traditional musical instrument from the land of Pasundan that is able to hypnotise people who listen to it because of its distinctive and beautiful tone, the recorder flute is a modern musical instrument with a whistle-like sound. The sunda trumpet is a musical instrument made of wood and has seven sound holes. This instrument is usually used to accompany dance performances, pencak silat, reog, reak art, benjang, adu domba, sisingaan, kuda renggong, and others. Tarompet comes from the word empet, while the word tara (taras) comes from the word tala. Empet is a sound that comes out of pieces of coconut leaves or kawung which is sounded by blowing. While tala means heart. The trumpet is the empet which is the heart of the sound. Yoyon Darsono has travelled to 5 continents in the world playing rebab, flute, and sunda trumpet.



Yaya Suryadi – The Champion of the Mountain

Yaya is from Banjaran, Bandung Regency, West Java. Kendang or Gendang is a traditional Indonesian musical instrument made from a tree trunk with the inside removed. For the head, animal skins such as cow or goat are used. Without the leather cover, a kendang is literally just an empty cylinder or barrel. When playing it, a person or drummer must hit the skin, either with a stick or by hand. Kendang itself has many variations of names in different cultures. Yaya is a master of his craft, known for his abilities in extensive durational performance.


Copyright, 2023 Jeprut Artist Community, Bi Raspi, Yoyon Darsono, Ayi Ruhat, Yaya Suryadi. All rights reserved.

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