Jack: Why are the plants yellowing?

Jill: Because the soil is stricken.

Jack: Who struck the soil? Angels?

Jill: This capital stands on sewage and decay. It’s human mess, not angels.

Jack: Could a fire maybe burn away the sickness in the soil?

Jill: Some day the earth will catch the Sun’s fire. Then there will be no stopping.

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NADA is an artistic entity comprised of Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari. Encountering a NADA performance is like attending a séance where you witness troubadours summoning glorious specters from the 40s, 50s & 60s as defined by the Golden Age of Malay Cinema combined with the ritualistic energies from lifeforms as primal as our island’s early mangroves. 

Sweet-tempered melodies and poignant lyrics delivered by the queens and kings of the industry were essential to the Malay films of yore and as such Golden Era Malay music flourished. Palpably, the glow diminished with the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965, when a juggernaut Malay film studio closed and the stars made their exit.  

Beyond the sparkle of this era, Malay music embeds our earliest soil. 19th Century migrants brought richly varied musical strains with them from diverse parts of Indonesia and Malaysia influencing the sonic trajectory of our Nation’s history.

NADA’s embodiment of music and performance bears the stripes of misplaced histories and dispossessed cultures in order to, more than preserve, take into the future and bring re-imagination to the memories and narratives of peoples which, if lost, devastates our cultural fabric in its entirety. 

NADA is not one to square off this pandemic with barefaced insistence on their right to exist essentially as Performance Artists. Their way has been to remain in the arena in spite of the pandemic’s wont to take down the so-called unessential. In this season of trouble, they state plainly that audience interaction is important to them. Yet, even as they accept the conditions of the day, they gently display their grit by reminding us that the liminal space between tender dreams and harsh reality is where they have always chosen to exist. The last verse of their newly created lyrics for Cloud reads… 

At every downbeat,
the need to resist the pull of the real.
Not wanting to be grounded,
I still want to dream,
Swaying, reeling,
To this song of love and hate 

The last line especially reveals that NADA takes in their stride the nightmare of discrimination and injustice that pervade every contemporary society, choosing to remain true to themselves cradling the sensibilities of their art and cultural heritage with pure soul.
Natalie Hennedige

Millie: Justus, are we on the brink of disaster?

Justus: I will need to be in quarantine for 40 days and then I will come back.

Millie: 40 days is excessive.

Justus: It’s symbolic. Quarantine, from Latin quaranta. 40 is the numeric symbol for purification.

Millie: Like the 40-day flood in the book of Genesis that washed away every human who defiled the earth, which was every human, to purify the earth. Like that?

Justus: In 40 days I will come back to you purer than I have been.



NADA Life in a Cloud
In these unusual days, we have been dreaming
about removing the invisible wall that separates dreams from reality. An eternal state of liminality, where the mind jogs through routines of ambiguous cycles; familiar but never the same, foreign but comforting. Thoughts loop in liberating rhythms, sooner becomes later with no pressures in between. Day becomes night and in darkness light breaks again, fracturing narratives and dispensing specks of logic into the air. They float in space like tiny mechanical drones dancing to a waltz. At every downbeat, is the need to resist the gravitational pull of consciousness, swaying to our song of love and hate.
Day becomes night and in darkness light breaks again, fracturing narratives and dispensing specks of logic into the air.
Nyata & Mimpi
NADA Life in a Cloud
We are creating an audio-visual piece which blurs the line that separates the creation process and the performance. As the main subjects in the video, we are in constant state of flux alternating between our-selves (as the creators) and the personas we embodied on-stage as NADA. This represents/resonates with the reality-dream & logic-irrational dualities as reflected in our piece. Visually it takes the form of stop-motion, time-lapses and boomerang-like footage to fracture the sense of time. Sonically, a new waltz will be written as a seeding ‘text’ to develop the piece and eventually becomes its musical accompaniment.
Di masa luar biasa,
Satu kan lah mimpi dan nyata
Berkekalan abadi,
ruang di antara dua alam ini
Fikiran jelas menjadi cemas,
Rutin terlepas, ayuh bergegas.
Serupa tapi tak sama,
Rasa asing tapi selesa,
Berkekalan sebati,
alam nyata dan mimpi
Fikiran bertandak bebas berentak
Yang nanti kelak oh lambat pulak.
Pecah lagi gelita,
Gelapan malam dinyala cahaya.
Retak juga jalan cerita,
serpihan logik pancur ke udara,
Terapung-terapung di atas kayangan,
Khusyuk melayan, gerak tarian.
Di setiap rentak pertama,
Harus lah lawan kejutan nyata,
Tidak mahu jatuh ke bumi,
aku masih ingin bermimpi,
Terhuyung-hayang, bergoyang-goyang,
Seirama kasih dan kesat ini.
NADA Life in a Cloud
NADA Life in a Cloud
NADA Life in a Cloud
NADA Life in a Cloud
is a visual arts/sound project that explores the myth and synthetic history of a fabricated group of the same name. A concept developed by Rizman Putra and Safuan Johari, the duo blurs the line between fiction and reality, summoning hauntological soundscapes and seeking lost futures.