Monday, July 07, 2008

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - Global ensemble

IT’S not about electric guitars, amplifiers or pick-ups. In fact, at this festival, at a workshop billed “Heavy Metal” you’re more likely to learn about melodic metal instruments! And chances are, you’ll see people headbanging to tabla rhythms, or gawking at accordions and native lutes ...

It is, after all, the Rainforest World Music Festival 2008 (RWMF2008) – an event to celebrate culture and tradition, featuring music as its glorious binding agent.

In its 11th year, the festival is all grown up now, and for this instalment, it has spawned fringe fairs – the Rainforest World Craft Bazaar and Folk Art Forum, two more avenues for preserving, conserving and showcasing customs and craft that have lived for generations.

There are 16 performers already listed in the three-day programme, which kicks off on July 11 at the Sarawak Cultural Village, and boasts music from around the globe. Imagine Orlando Valderrama’s Colombian cowboy ditties, highlighting the lifestyle of the plainsmen from the Llanos grasslands; picture an amalgam of percussive pulses and sonorous lutes from the festive, funky Filipino ensemble Pinikpikan; envision ancestral music rooted in the healing power of chanting brought to you by Kasai Masai of Congo.

Okay ... so maybe you can’t imagine those things. But at the RWMF2008, you’ll get to hear all of the above live.

Talk has been rife, however, about the festival having lost its “spirit”; that festival goers are no longer interested in the art or craft of music ... and are more likely to be revelling in the heady multi-cultural atmosphere, tuak in steady tow.

Continue reading (incl. pic) at: Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - Global ensemble

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