Mukarno: COMPOSING SPIRITUALITY “In my life I’m a believer. Objects are only a tool”


Philemon Mukarno is an extraordinary composer, born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a highly-educated individual who honed his skills at the prestigious Royal Conservatory of The Hague and Codarts, University of the Arts in the Netherlands. Mukarno not only graduated with top honors but also received the esteemed Prize for Composition. Mukarno is known for his unique style which sets him apart in contemporary music. His signature use of electronics is simply remarkable. He uses the necessary tools and composition techniques to express his original thoughts in a way that’s not dependent on tradition. Additionally, the remarkable economy of means and his strict control of form make for powerful and impactful pieces. With Mukarno, we are taken on a journey into the enigmatic realm of musical composition – it’s an art that can only be felt in the mind and soul, not physically palpable.

Mukarno, the composer, possesses an irreplaceable object in his hands: a computer that he skillfully harnesses to create a blend of spirituality and technicality in his musical compositions. Though the computer is merely a tool, it holds some of his most important works of art that showcase his deep emotional connection and commitment. Conversing with Mukarno, I discovered that he doesn’t hold much attachment to material things, but instead, his focus is on his spirituality and faith in God, which guides his approaches to art. Mukarno is a talented musician who is not only a performer but specializes in electronic composition. His art is known for its experimentation and technical rigor, which sets him apart from the rest.

The composer confidently devotes himself to commissioned works, creating art that lives on beyond the destruction of mere objects. Hours at the computer are a small sacrifice for the immortality that music grants. In fact, even the decision to break their trusty computer demonstrates the artist’s commitment to their craft – for it is not the object itself that holds meaning, but the music that has been created through it. WORM’s performance serves as a powerful rite of passage, as Mukarno delivers the fragments of a life-long partner in their artistic journey. This act symbolizes a rebirth, a freedom from attachment to objects and a recommitment to the enduring value of music – which lives on in our ears, hearts, and souls.

Collective: The Art of Letting Go WORM