Web Sound Art Festival 2024


— Bilawa Ade Respati

  • Stories from the time of Japanese Occupation in Indonesia (1942-1945)
    • Three characters
  • Visual novel
    • User selects the story path
    • Sounds follow user reading & selection of story path


  • Indonesia was under Dutch colonial rule
  • The Japanese army took over the Dutch East Indies in 1942
  • European were taken into interment camp
  • As Japan recapitulated, Indonesian proclaimed its independence in 1945


  • Indonesian poet/philosopher who tries to conceptualize culture & develop the language
  • Young Dutch women who sing in a voice orchestra in the interment camp
  • A Japanese student pilot who contemplates on his last night alive


  • Shared history, multiple perspectives
  • Overcoming sentiments, stereotypes
  • "Small narrative" within "big narrative"


  • Visual Novel
    • Text
    • Sound
    • Image
    • Video


The Text

  • Random walk to explore story "atoms"
  • Written in Twine
  • Inspiration
    • Sutan Takdir Alisjahbana
    • Woman Voice Orchestra of Sumatra
    • Kamikaze Diaries (Ohnuki-Tierney)

The Visual

  • Image & video collage
  • Made with processing and python
  • Inspiration: pattern in batik, wagara, quilt
  • Image & video theme: Japan propaganda film, European in Dutch East Indies, the modernist Indonesian
  • Ink drawings
  • Shadow figures
  • Collage / cluster
    • Popular music at the time (keroncong, arrangement of trad. song)
  • Melodic materials from voice analysis
    • Alisjahbana and Zuster Catharinia
  • Borrowing ideas from gamelan music
    • Pelog tuning system (Lindhu Raras)
    • Garap ("orchestration")
    • Cengkok ("short musical pattern")
    • Rasa ("impression")

The Sound

The Visual Novel

  • Visual novel engine: Monogatari
    • Javascript based
  • Sound: tone.js
  • Tweaking the default of the engine
  • First complete work using web technology
    • Longer development time
  • Limitation of the visual novel engine
    • Accommodate a specific usage case
  • Real-time generation vs pre-made materials
    • Limited interactivity


  • Reference of other works / use case
  • Technical and aesthetical problem-solving
  • Input on aesthetic considerations
  • Dialectic process
    • Guidance through discussion

Mentor Contributions

When the world is at peace
the rains are serene
People respect each other
full of honour

– Gesang Martohartono

Thank You!

Questions and suggestions?



By Bilawa Respati


Presentation for the work Tirai at the Web Sound Art Festival 2024

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