Master musician Lai Lau
Master musician Lai Lau (Binh Nghia village, Ninh Thuan)  ©

British Council


We are looking for eight musicians to take part in a 10-day residency at Phu Sa Lab (Hanoi), from 13 to 23 January 2019. 

Forming part of the FAMLAB strand of our on-going Heritage of Future Past project and organised in conjunction with Lune Production and Phu Sa Lab, the programme encompasses in-depth musical exchanges and sharing with experts. Lab sessions see participants collaborate, exchange and work on ideas together, with programme advisors and other master musicians joining in selected sessions. 

Participants will have access to Phu Sa’s assortment of indigenous musical instruments (such as gongs, ting ning, Cham percussions [ginang and baranung], jaw harps, flutes), as well as others crafted by Phu Sa artisans themselves. Likewise, a studio space with high-end backline will be provided.


As an attempt at safeguarding Vietnam’s music heritage, the programme is aimed at Vietnam-based musicians of any genre, practice and nationality with:

  • pre-existing background knowledge of various types of traditional Vietnamese music (in particular Central Highlands gong music, and Cham ritual music)
  • an interest in exploring and integrating contemporary practices into traditional sonic lexicons
  • ootential and commitment for future contribution to the local music scene. 

To apply, please send your application package to by 23.59, 31 December 2018. Successful applicants will be informed by 4 January 2019.

Your application package should include:

  • a short text (maximum one A4 side, in either Vietnamese or English) explaining who you are and why you would like to take part in this residency programme
  • your resume detailing your music-making background and trajectory
  • at least two online links to examples of your past work in music (audio recordings, films, etc.).


  • Participants are required to take part in all workshop sessions led by Phu Sa advisors, as well as one briefing session before the residency, plus one debriefing session. 
  • Detailed working schedule will be provided to participants by 8 January 2019.
  • Travel expenses between the participant’s permanent location and Hanoi, as well as hotel accommodation and per diem in Hanoi over the programme’s duration, will be arranged for and covered by British Council in Vietnam for a maximum of three participants from outside Hanoi. Lunch allowances will be provided for all participants. 

With regard to these instruments and equipment, we kindly request compliance with certain codes of conduct which will be communicated to participants prior to the residency’s commencement.

The residency will culminate in an open session on the evening of 23 January (at Phu Sa Lab) for participants to showcase the in-progress work developed throughout the previous days.


Nguyen Duc Minh: Conductor/composer and musician at the Seaphony ethnic orchestra. Having studied indigenous music at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, Minh is arguably one of the best jaw harp artists in Vietnam. He learnt from the son of renowned music researcher Tran Van Khe and soon acquired in-depth knowledge and a solid grasp of the woodwind instruments of the North West and other regions. Together with the Dan Do group, Minh is a leading artisanal making a number of contemporary indigenous instruments such as dan do, jar drum. Minh is the creator of Chem Gio and Bamboo Talk, ground-breaking experimental and genre-fusing performances showcased at Phu Sa Lab.

Quyen Thien Dac: Conductor/composer and musician at the Seaphony ethnic orchestra. Hailing from a music family with strong jazz background, Dac graduated from Vietnam National Academy of Music, majoring in saxophone, then gained a scholarship at Berklee College of Music, Boston, and a Masters degree at Malmo Academy of Music, Sweden.Dac is regarded as one of the top saxophonists and jazz musicians in Vietnam, and a pioneer of his generation renowned for his experimental work. His musical career took a major turn with a stronger focus on contemporary practices that fuse indigenous music, before starting work at Lune Production. He has experimented at Phu Sa Lab with musicians Nguyen Nhat Ly and Nguyen Duc Minh to co-create musical performances such as ‘Chem Gio’, a meeting of Western jazz and indigenous tunes. 

Dan Do Group of Musicians and Artisans: Dinh Anh Tuan, Tran Kim Ngoc, Nguyen Quang Su

A formidable trio that has been conquering local and international stages for the past 12 years. With more than six years’ experience working with bamboo and other native materials, these ‘new artisans’ offer invaluable knowledge in material research and approaching traditional music via a vastly contemporary angle. Through performances of the Seaphony ethnic orchestra, Lang Toi (My Village), Chem Gio and Bamboo Talk – they have played important roles as multi-instrumentalists and co-creators, Dan Do Group have demonstrated a strong grasp of a wide range of indigenous instruments from different parts of Vietnam (North West, the Central Highlands, or regions populated by Cham people along the South Central coast), as well as their own signature instrument: the dan do (‘fish trap’ percussion) and jar drum, amongst others.



Heritage of Future Past is a two-year project delivered through the British Council’s Culture and Development initiative. Engaging with Vietnam’s music/film heritage, especially those currently under-threat or under-represented, the project consists of two interconnected strands: community-level activities and FAMLAB (Film, Archive and Music Lab). Launched in April 2018, the project seeks to create opportunities for communities across the country to contribute to – and benefit from – the safeguarding and reinvigoration of their cultural heritage.

Project activities are focused on research, documentation, conservation, training and capacity building (including oral teaching techniques), experimentation and innovation, advocacy and education (including policy and community dialogues), and the re-imagination and revitalisation of cultural heritage assets via contemporary practices. Find out more about Heritage of Future Past


Lune Production was established in 2012 with a vision to inspire native cultural values of the world, starting with Vietnam, to global audiences. The company develops and promotes spectacles and cultural products that capture the essence of local native cultures by collaborating with world-class artists who share the same values. Lune’s products such as A O Show, Lang Toi – My Village have won audiences’ hearts locally and across four continents as the company keeps expanding in scale, while maintaining focus on pushing creative boundaries and upholding native cultures. Most notable recent works include the S.E.A Sound Project, initiating the Seaphony ethnic orchestra and Palao, a contemporary theatrical creation based on Champa culture.


The S.E.A Sound project was initiated by musician Nguyen Nhat Ly to create a South East Asian musical platform where the community of ethnic music lovers gather to share, enjoy, compose, perform, and prosper. After years of research and months of passionate labour throughout 2017, the Seaphony orchestra proudly made its first appearance in the ethnic music concert ‘Dem Vo Thuc Ban Dịa’ at Hanoi Opera House, on 12 December 2017. The project aims to grow deeper and more sustainable roots within local ethnic communities, while connecting musicians across South East Asian countries to build an open network sharing a passion for indigenous music and bringing native sounds of South East Asia to the world.


Located in Hanoi’s Tay Ho District, Phu Sa Lab was founded by the visionary artist Nguyen Nhat Ly in his early years having returned to Vietnam. It serves as a hub for independent artists for traditional and ethnic music experimentation in contemporary context as well as an open space for creatives and cultural activists who share artistic, humanitarian, environmentalist ideals and passion.

For more information, please contact

Hung Tran
Programme Manager
Arts and Creative Industries
British Council 
20 Thuy Khue
T +84 1800 1299 ext 1929 

Hong Pham 
Programme Manager
Arts and Creative Industries
British Council
20 Thuy Khue
T +84 1800 1299 ext 1924