Wayang Hip Hop: Profile Music Europalia Festival 2017


Wayang Hip Hop was first established in Yogyakarta, 2010. The main performers are Catur Kuncoro (dalang or puppeteer), Suyanti (sinden or singer), Tyno Isba Elsa W (rapper), Bungkus Gunung M (rapper). The group performs songs that combine traditional Javanese music, such as the suluk and ghendhing that ususally accompanies the traditional wayang kulit shadow puppetry and hip hop. The musical fragments are interspersed with stories from traditional wayang. These are mostly Javanese adaptations of Sanskrit epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana that have been performed in Java for centuries. The group has performed in mayor venues across Indonesia and was invited to perform in the official launch of the Contemporary Wayang Archive (cwa-web.org) at the National University of Singapore

The Wayang Hip Hop performance combines narratives of topical events and humor. The main characters are new versions the punokawan or clown-servants of conventional wayang that accompany the heroes and provide context to the traditional stories. They are Semar, Petruk, Gareng, and Bagong. The musical accompaniment consists of a mixture of traditional Javanese music and hip hop rhythms. The performance will take place in Indonesian and Javanese but translation into English will be made available via surtitles. In the performance, the rappers, DJ and signer will all be clad in the traditional costumes of wayang orang (a version of wayang that uses actors instead of puppets).