Friday, August 17, 2007

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival: Heeding the call

AT THE Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival last month, it was interesting to see a handful of young artistes playing traditional instruments, or those usually reserved for the older folk. It was refreshing that there is a movement to keep the “old” music alive. And it was good to note that they’ve added a touch of modernity to the time-honoured tunes.

Ainal Bustari of the duo Tabuh Pak Ainal is 18 years old, and has been playing a Bidayuh traditional percussion instrument called the bedung/sebang since he was eight. In Tabuh Pak Ainal, he drums along with his father, Johari Morshidi, who plays the ketebang. Their music ranges from soothing to energetic and infectious, and is influenced by music of the Iban, Bidayuh and Indonesian folk.

On the faster numbers, the teenager would have made any rocker proud with his relentless head-banging. He alternates these upbeat moves with the more exotic ones of Sarawak dance.

Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival: Heeding the call

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