Monday 17 October 2016, 6–7.30pm
Early evening talk with Senyawa in discussion with The WIRE's Clive Bell ahead of their eagerly-anticipated show later on.
Jogjakarta’s Senyawa embodies the aural elements of Javanese music whilst exploring the framework of experimental music practice, pushing the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a perfect balance between their avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian new music.
They have collaborated weith the likes of Yoshida Tatsuya, Rabih Beani, Lucas Abela, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Melt Banana, Jon Sass, Damo Suzuki, Jerome Cooper, David Shea and Kazu Ushihashi.
“To paint Senyawa in the broadest strokes possible, they sound like a slab of abstracted death metal carved from the slopes of a Pacific volcano.” – Resident Advisor
Senyawa's sound is comprised of Rully Shabara’s deft extended vocal techniques punctuating the frenetic sounds of instrument builder, Wukir Suryadi’s modern-primitive instrumentation. Inventions like his handcrafted ‘Bamboo Spear’; a thick stem of bamboo strung up with percussive strips of the animal skin along side steel strings. Amplified it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. Sonically dynamic, the instrument can be rhythmically percussive on one side whilst being melodically bowed and plucked on the other.
As a duo they have been performing and playing together extensively over 5 years and have toured Indonesia several times over. In 2011 they were invited to perform internationally for the first time at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival sharing the stage with many great musicians such as Faust, Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine.
Since then they have gone on to perform at MONA FOMA Festival in Tasmania, the Adelaide Festival with Korean singer Bae Il Dong, toured as special guests of Australian supergroup Regurgitator, performed at theGlatt und Verkert Festival in Austria along side Japanese guitar master Kazuhisa Uchihashi, as well as the Malmo Sommarscen Festival in Sweden, Salihara Literature Festival in Jakarta, CTM Festival in Berlin, SuperDeluxe Tokyo, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Clandestino Festival in Norway and Oct Loft Jazz Festival in China.
Clive Bell is a musician, composer and writer with a specialist interest in the shakuhachi, khene (Thai mouth organ) and other East Asian wind instruments. He has travelled extensively in Japan (where he studied shakuhachi with the master Kohachiro Miyata), Thailand, Laos and Bali, researching music and meeting local practitioners. He currently tours with UK-based Japanese drumming group Taiko Meantime, and joins koto and shamisen players to perform the Japanese classical repertoire. He toured for over a decade with Jah Wobble, including shows at Ronnie Scott’s and the Glastonbury Festival.
Clive is the shakuhachi player on Karl Jenkins's album Requiem on EMI Classics, the final two Harry Potter movies, and the Hobbit. His shakuhachi playing has been featured live on Radio 3’s Late Junction and In Tune. In 2013 at the BFI, Sylvia Hallett and Clive Bell performed a live soundtrack for Walk Cheerfully, Yasujiro Ozu’s 1930 comedy gangster movie.
Clive Bell has a substantial recording history as both a solo artist (his solo album, Shakuhachi: The Japanese Flute was reissued in 2005 by ARC Records) and as a composer for film, TV and theatrical productions (Complicite, Kazuko Hohki, IOU, Whalley Range Allstars). Jazz pianist Taeko Kunishima, Jaki Liebezeit, David Sylvian, David Toop, Jochen Irmler of Faust and Bill Laswell number among Clive Bell's collaborators. Based in London, he writes regularly for the music monthly The Wire.