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Laughter, Boos, and Silence: Duto Hardono in Conversation with Roger McDonald

Left to right: Duto Hardono; Roger McDonald

Left to right: Duto Hardono; Roger McDonald. Photos: Roger McDonald

In this interview, conducted in August 2012, curator and lecturer Roger McDonald talks to Indonesian sound artist Duto Hardono in Shinjuku, the high-rise shopping hub of Tokyo.

They discuss the evolution of Hardono’s practice and meander across a variety of related topics including analogue sound sources, the multiplicity of audience responses to experimental sound art performance, and audiophilia. Later, McDonald and Hardono go shopping for vintage avant-garde vinyl at Disk Union record store before sharing a taxi and exchanging thoughts on their finds.

Download the MP3 and, as an aid to comprehension, the interview transcript (PDF).

In this brief audio slideshow, McDonald quizzes Hardono about a performance at Arts Initiative Tokyo.

Does contemporary music inspire a different variety of enthusiasm to visual art?

  • YS

    A fascinating conversation between Roger from Arts Initiative Tokyo ( and artist, Duto Hardono. Appropriate that the conversation is an audio file where you hear the ambient sounds of their surrounding environment.

  • MichaelJWilson

    The appreciation displayed by McDonald and Hardono in their discussion of concerts and records does seem to be of a rather different order than the kind generally prompted by visual art; either there really is more pleasure involved, or it appears closer to the surface. Perhaps the stereotype of the chin-stroking connoisseur remains active in the context of visual practice, whereas in music—even that which might be thought of as relatively academic—true “fans” feel free (or even obliged) to be more vocal or otherwise unrestrained. Maybe contemporary music has always overlapped more readily and perceptibly with popular culture than has its visual equivalent? Or perhaps we’re simply accustomed to responding in kind—giving hearty voice to our opinions when their focus is sound, but greeting the silence of objects with a quieter, more introverted response? Is there an issue of perceived accessibility here? Or a lingering tendency toward reverence?