Hailing from Malang, in Eastern Java, and currently based in Yogyakarta, composer and instrument builder Wukir Suryadi fuses ancient Javanese tradition with contemporary music practice.
As a young theatre apprentice, Suryadi began making music for plays and poetry recitals under the informal tutelage of WS Rendra and I Wayan Sadra. He also began building instruments, which led to a residency at Amsterdam's esteemed Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music. His namesake, an amplified bamboo zither called a bambuwukir, has both steel and percussive strings made from bamboo fibers. Amplified, it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. Onstage, Suryadi plucks, strums, and bows his way from peaceful meditations to rhythmic frenzy. Using the agility of his instrument to collaborate with musicians and performance artists from around the world, his sound continues to evolve, fluently bridging musical styles and inventing new instruments as he goes.
Suryadi's Senyawa project with master vocalist Rully Shabara combines avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian music. The duo has been performing together since 2010 when Wok the Rok dared them into an impromptu improvisation, resulting in a debut self-titled album on Yes No Wave. In 2015, Senyawa arrived on Rabih Beaini's Morphine label with the full-length album, Menjadi, preceded by a 12-inch reinterpretation of their track, "Di Kala Sudah", by master improviser and Buchla synth pioneer Charles Cohen.