Sandrayati has always been earth’s gentle admirer. Her life and music are intertwined with nature’s authenticity, illuminated by each stage of society’s oldest rhythm. Welcoming us into her tranquil world, Sandrayati’s brand new single “Vast” (out now on Decca Records/Universal Music Canada), featuring Ólafur Arnalds, circles four stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle, which mirror “the new moon”, “the waxing moon”, “the full moon” and “the waning moon”.
Whilst the first single from her upcoming album, ‘Suara Dunia’, was inspired by indigenous wisdom in connection with the earth, ‘Vast’ appears more abstract. In the writing process, Sandrayati imagined that she was an element of nature singing to humankind. In the music video, the cycle is a symbol of the closest relationship humans have with the rhythm in nature. Nearly four billion people in the world have a menstrual cycle, yet it is a topic many shy away from. Whether it is her work as a trained yoga teacher, or homemade tinctures, Sandrayati frequently shares her knowledge on how to work with our cycles to form a deeper personal connection with the earth.
Speaking about the womb’s inner workings, Sandrayati says, “The cycle has been a great teacher for me in my creation process. I am a woman that is not intending on birthing babies at the moment, and I don’t feel that it makes the cycle irrelevant to me. Each phase illuminates something significant in my creative process. The music video for “Vast”, is an embodiment of my journey exploring the expansive beauty and power of this. We all come from the rhythms of the womb, it’s about time we honour it”
Directed by Álfheiður Marta, Sandrayati’s performance in the ‘Vast’ video is both animalistic and raw. Representing something so innate in a woman’s life, ‘the new moon’ stage opens to a dark sky mirroring the inside of the womb. Referred to as a wild awakening, Sandrayati feels she is in servitude to the processes of letting go. In ‘the waxing moon’, a new phase of life begins. Sandrayati emerges from the sea and a warmth thaws the land, allowing for the first sprouts to waken. ‘The full moon’ part of the cycle follows with an active, open readiness for summer. For this phase of the menstrual cycle, Sandrayati is connected to the mountains, engulfed by an expansive, liberating landscape. Wild and thriving, her movement is erratic against her crystal clear vocal and Arnalds’ comforting and persistent keys. Finally, ‘the waning moon’ phase brings the song to an unhurried finale. As the darkness creeps in, inward reflection is encouraged as we look inside for comfort, hibernation and rest. Tears flow and Sandrayati floats with a quiet euphoria now that another month’s cycle is complete.
Born to a Filipino mother and American father, and raised on the islands of Java and Bali, Sandrayati grew up in a musical household, in a culture that adores live music. Her parents, both of whom work with protecting the land rights of indigenous peoples, share a love of folk music and protest songs. This, combined, has built her sound.
In her career so far, the singer and guitarist has collaborated with Damien Rice and Icelandic artist Jófríður Ákadóttir, releasing a powerful tribute – ‘Song for Berta’ – to slain Honduran environmental activist and indigenous leader, Berta Cáceres. Sandrayati has also had the honour of featuring on Iwan Fals’ latest album, an Indonesian folk legend, performed at the world’s most important climate conference, COP26 as well as touring Europe with Australian artist RY X. As Sandrayati heads toward a profound debut record entitled ‘Safe Ground’, she will play the glorious St Pancras Old Church in London on March 22nd (more information here).
Sandrayati’s “Vast” is out now on Decca Records/Universal Music Canada