The Rhythm Hunters
Gig Seeker Pro

The Rhythm Hunters

Gosford, New South Wales, Australia | SELF

Gosford, New South Wales, Australia | SELF
Band World New Age


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Jenolan Thunder - The Rhythm Hunters"

Jenolan Thunder is an inspiring musical pilgrimage using the power of Japanese Taiko style choreography amidst the disciplined, yet powerful frenzy of Taiko drumming.

The Grand Arch, at Jenolan Caves, was transformed by The Rhythm Hunters into a cross genre experience of dance, martial arts and music. Acting as a celebration of cross-cultural influences from Japan to Indigenous Indonesia The Rhythm Hunters have created Australasian Physical Drumming.

The majesty of the Grand Arch became an ancient space providing an indigenous and primal connection to earth via the medium of music. The arrival of didge player, Ian Hakker from the rocky ledge above heralding primordial echoes, predates the performer’s entrance from the road, as they appear like a swarm of cicadas, stopping periodically to drum.

Beginning with Jungle Funk from The Rhythm Hunters new cd, Cicada Factory and using Indonesian frame drums and Balinese gongs as the basis, we were transported by the high energy and groove of a style similar to that of Afro/Cuban percussion. The performance was wild, yet particular. The sheer physicality and masculinity of the male drummers collaborates strongly with the empowered female presence of Jody Lorrae, who encompasses both matriarch and warrior woman.

The transition from high energy and funk, initiated by the piece Talingen a blend of Indonesian Harp and Shakuhachi flute offers an ethereal quality that is haunting, poetic and sweet. Performers positioned on the rock face of the cave wall added to the stillness and ambience of the music.

The second half began with Warrahmatoulah, also from the new Cicada Factory cd, an Indonesian prayer sung by the multi talented Artistic Director, Rendra Freestone and accompanied by dancer, Alfira O’Sullivan. The song originally from Aceh, Indonesia acts as an offering and prayer to promote good will and religious peace. The reverence and sentiment within the music created a hypnotic and sacred mood.

The Rhythm Hunters easily shone and inspired showcasing their skills as musicians with a distinct and finely honed musical craftsmanship. We were taken on an unusual and captivating musical journey that was mesmerising. The intensity of the drums combined with the poetics of dance and martial arts was irresistible. Fluidity of movement and melody offered a magical fusion.

The energy of the performers and music constantly surprises, often, emphatically crazy. Suddenly melts into exotica, heralding a unique but harmonic blend of melodies. Jenolan Thunder presents as unusually stylistic shift for The Rhythm Hunters whose previous performances are usually quite raw in comparison.

This performance however, has solidified a youthful group of performers, combined with the presence of didge player, Ian Hakker and saxophonist, Lee Hardisty who double the resonance with time honoured sounds, entirely appropriate for the ancient strength of The Grand Arch.

The Rhythm Hunters are clearly a favourite with the audience. Many of who have travelled long distances to be there to enjoy this unique and wonderful musical experience.
- Australian Stage Online


Soundscapes of a Multicultural Asian Australia - 2004
Live at Matcham Hall - 2005
Cicada Factory - 2009



The Rhythm Hunters
Australasian Physical Drumming Group

‘ In the seemingly esoteric music is energy, rhythm, tightness, flair and a love of traditions…I see The Rhythm Hunters becoming a force in World music and indigenous Music genres’ Keith Preston 'Manager Art Beat - Member of Dya Singh'

The Rhythm Hunters
Inspired by Japanese Taiko Drumming, remote music from West Sumatra, Indonesia and the Australasian world culture,
The Rhythm Hunters are a young, upcoming force in world music specializing in dramatic physical drumming performances, indigenous Islamic music from Indonesia and modern textures of our age.

The Rhythm Hunters’ artistic inspiration stems from the dream of infectious multi-instrumentalist Rendra Freestone: to make The Rhythm Hunters a self-supporting international performance group that inspires people to appreciate forgotten cultures and traditions.

Unique to The Rhythm Hunters is the fusion of Taiko drumming with indigenous music from the little known Islamic provinces of West Sumatra and Aceh, Indonesia

Early times and Artistic Inspiration
Rendra is a composer, community musician, ethnomusicologist, director, musical mentor and recipient of the ‘2004 Asialink Performing Arts Residency Scholarship (which enabled him to record remote indigenous music in West Sumatra, Indonesia). From a young age Rendra sought to innovate the traditional Sumatran music of his family to create rich music of beauty.

Rendra was so enthralled by the complexity and richness of Sumatran music that he has constantly looked for ways to revivify traditions in new and exciting ways. Rendra found the physical intensity of Japanese Taiko drumming to be the perfect compliment to the more subtle elements of Sumatran music. On returning from intensive study in Japan in 2002, Rendra developed the physicality of Taiko alongside the shamanic Sufi-like traditions of Indonesia into what has become The Rhythm Hunters.

In 2009 the group has been selected from over 3000 artists to perform at the prestigious Woodford Folk Festival, which is the largest festival in the southern hemisphere. The group will play on the main stage from 11.33 to midnight in front of 20,000 music lovers

The Rhythm Hunters at Festivals
The Rhythm Hunters have performed at such well-known Australian festivals as The Woodford Folk Festival, The Dreaming (Australia’s Premier Indigenous Music Festival), The National Folk Festival, Australia-Indonesia Arts Festival Byron Bay, Peat’s Ridge Sustainable music and arts festival, The Canberra Nara Candle Festival, Island Vibe Festival, Cabramatta moon Festival, Festival in the Green (St Ives), Festival of the winds, Illawarra Folk Festival, Coastfest, Bondi Peace Beats, Woolloomooloo Music Festival, Winter Magic Festival, Earth Festival, Earth Dance, and Earth Hour Festival (Sydney).

On the International Radar
In 2009 alone, The Rhythm Hunters have received invitations to perform abroad at the 15th international Gamelan Festival in Yogjakarta, Pekan Kebudayaan Aceh (Acehenese Cultural Carnival), as well as invitations to perform at Jakarta’s premier theatre venues, The Gedung Kesenian Indonesia and Taman Ismail Marzuki, in 2010.

Other Achievements
The Rhythm Hunters SOLD OUT ground-breaking concerts in the Grand Arch of Jenolan Caves titled Jenolan Thunder 2007 – 2008, directed the opening/closing ceremonies for CoastFest 2005 - 06 and The Dusk Drum Event in 2006 for Peat’s Ridge Music Festival, directed music for the Australia Day Lantern Parade in Woy Woy 2007 and the Award winning 5 Lands Walk 2007 – 2009, selected in the top 20 emerging folk artists for the National Folk Convention in 2004 as well as conducting over 100 community drumming events in the past 2 years.

Corporate Sector and Special Events
As well as performing at festivals and engaging in community development, The Rhythm Hunters have successfully engaged corporations for a variety of activities, including performing at t