Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The Ocean


Behind the Music

Living in Indonesia, we felt a deep personal connection to the stories in The Outlaw Ocean, specifically in the chapter ‘Lone Patrol.’ Even with enforcement efforts, the plague of illegal fishing has made it difficult for the potential of the allegedly rich marine sector to properly flourish. 

These stories were so moving to us, so we want to find a way to strengthen the power of the writing itself. We treated this project as a soundtrack that followed along with each part of the book — conveying the specific vibe we felt when reading it. We hope our music helps further empower Ian’s already poignant storytelling and reporting.

About Senyawa

Jogjakarta’s Senyawa embodies the sonic influences of Javanese music through the framework of experimental music practice—pushing and pulling the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a balance between their avant-garde influences and village heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian new music. Their sound is composed of Rully Shabara’s deft extended vocal techniques, punctuating the frenetic neo-tribalism of instrument builder Wukir Suryadi’s modern-primitive instrumentation. 

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 onto 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 the Glatt und Verkert Festival in Austria alongside Japanese guitar master Kazuhisa Uchihashi, as well as the Malmö Sommarscen Festival in Sweden, Salihara Literature Festival in Jakarta, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, CTM Festival Berlin, Supersense Festival, Clandestino Festival in Norway and Oct Loft Jazz Festival in China.

They have collaborated and performed with many notable musicians such as Yoshida Tatsuya, Lucas Abela, KK Null, Keiji Haino, Jon Sass, Damo Suzuki, Jerome Cooper, David Shea and Kazu Ushihashi and Jon Theodore. In 2012 they completed a film in collaboration with French filmmaker Vincent Moon.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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