ListN Up: NOMON (January 14, 2022)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

NOMON is a percussion duo composed of sisters Shayna and Nava Dunkelman. After spending years apart working on their own unique voices, Shayna and Nava came together in 2018 to form NOMON. Born and raised in Tokyo to an Indonesian mother and an American father, the sisters became multi-instrumentalists performing alongside their mother, a musician and composer active in Asia and the Middle East.

Hello, I’m Shayna. Hi, I’m Nava, and we are NOMON. We made this ListN Up playlist to tell you about what we drew inspiration from when making our debut EP “Card II.” The inception of NOMON sprang from a desire to accentuate the physicality and the choreographic nature of percussion playing, and we do that by focusing on the synchronization and naturally dance-like movements made when striking drums or any object. The visual aspect of our music is equally important as the sound, so you’ll see a lot of that here. Hope you enjoy it. Thanks!

“Faceshopping” by SOPHIE

Our music is made of intricate musical arrangements of various percussion instruments, drum machine beats, and layers of synths. It combines contemporary percussion playing with the industrial electronic styles. SOPHIE is a great inspiration for us.

[Warning: the following video contains strobing effects]

“Light Luxury 光华” by Aïsha Devi

Aïsha Devi is a master of combining serenity and brutality. Card II echoes the emotions related to the inevitable changes in one’s life. The feelings of fear and freedom that come with choosing a certain path, and touching on fragments of memories from our lives in Tokyo, Oakland, and now New York where we both currently reside, which can be intense, fragile, fierce, calm, and everything in between.

“Fase” by dancers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Michele Anne de Mey, music by Steve Reich

We use a Rorschach-like percussion set up to capture the naturally occurring mirror-image synchronization. We are in the process of making a music video, and this iconic dance piece of Reich’s Piano Phase was a big visual inspiration.

Here is a short teaser of our upcoming music video.

“The Collector” by Insect Ark

As we thought of the beauty of body language for the music video, we came across this video and got inspired by the movement of this dancer. We loved how she lets herself go with the music. It helped us understand how we naturally move our body along with our music, rather than choreographing specific movements.

“Cosoco” by Juana Molina

There is a song on our EP that is sort of an homage to this Juana Molina track. We were drawn to the quirky yet catchy recurring marching style snare motif highlighting our synchronized playing, even though we each have distinct playing styles.

“Spellbound” by Siouxsie And The Banshees

While our musical taste skews slightly towards contemporary electronic or brutal industrial sounds, our drum parts can be more instinctual. We love how the drum parts in “Spellbound” just get to your core and make you want to stand and stomp it out.

“Virtual Mima” by Masahiro Ikumi

While making beat-driven music, we also wanted to make something meditative and emotional like Hana, which features a shower of bell motifs along with ethereal electronic sounds that gradually build and unfold to a dynamic explosion of sounds and beats. This track is a great example of how the music builds from small and atmospheric to something grand.

“Hana” by NOMON

And finally, here is Hana from our EP Card II. Hope you enjoyed the playlist.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

A gift to ACF helps support the work of ICIYL. For more on ACF, visit the “At ACF” section or