Senyawa: Compound Lyricism

Translation of lyrics from experimental Indonesian band Senyawa

Senyawa, the experimental Indonesian band formed by Rully Shabara and Wukir Suryadi, does not sound like anyone else… the combination of Wukir’s handmade instruments and Rully’s other-worldly vocals, channeling Javanese melodies with the intensity of punk and metal, with an avant-garde / DIY approach to constant experimentation and boundary pushing.

Over the past ten years Senyawa have continually developed their sound, shifting in relation with the instruments Wukir builds. Unfortunately for people who do not understand the various Indonesian dialects used, while you can appreciate their music and performances, you can appreciate the aurality of Senyawa – the sheer force and wonder of their music – but not the lyrical content.

This project is intended to rectify that, translating Rully’s lyrics for Senyawa into English for the first time.

"Earth, ecology, catastrophe: perhaps Senyawa are themusical embodiment of catastrophe of the Anthropocene?Perhaps. That would be one way to appreciate Rully’scompound lyricism, but certainly not the only one. Thebeauty of poetic forms lies in their open nature. Findingone way in doesn’t meant that there aren’t many more toexplore. And that’s what this booklet is for: to presentRully’s lyrics for Senyawa, so now we can read, understand,and discuss as we listen."