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Ever wondered how someone could get possessed by music?

Hailing from Yogyakarta, this Indonesian folk experimental duo consisting of Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi are the beings who give life to Senyawa. The duo has been performing together since 2010 and started playing abroad with their first appearance in 2011 during Melbourne International Jazz Festival. This duo highlights their genre as experimental / Javanese gospel.

Rully and Wukir both have distinct inimitable traits in music. Instrument builder, Wukir previously runs solo accompanied by some innovations of his like the ‘bambuwukir’ – an instrument that composes strings where it could be plucked melodically on one side, and percussive rhythmic characters on the other. Along with the screeches and yelps from Rully who sings in an extended vocal technique, he animates all the speech-harmonic singing elements in their music. Due to their bonding precisions, comes the unorthodox output of Senyawa’s self-titled album.


Senyawa provides a highly complex arrangement of rhapsodizing sounds. Truly they are a perfect combination, both resulting from their desire to experiment in both traditional and breaching the contemporary side of the music world. Contrary to popular belief, their punk attitude-infused appearance hasn’t influenced their music much for the diverse musical backgrounds they came from. Rully and Wukir have similar beliefs in the traditional mix of music bringing them isolated in their own area.

About their music, there’s not much explanation we could do as for the complex sounds. It basically plays with our mood. Some songs sound scary and thrilling while some are soothing with nusantara inserts. All you have to do is plug in those earphones and have a listen to them! Also, if you happen to be somewhere around Europe, check out their tour which started recently on 14th of June. More info about their European tour here

by Farah Azahar
Photo via Senyawa