Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - Reviving the roots

At the Rainforest World Music Festival last weekend, Dazkarieh had the masses on their feet by updating Portuguese traditional and folk music.

IT was the highlight of the festival. The atmosphere was electric, the 8,000-odd crowd was dancing and headbanging, and onstage, Portuguese band Dazkarieh was bringing the house down with an awesome, frenetic, rock set.

It was just like any great rock festival, down to the almost Glastonbury-like mud at the venue. Except that this wasn’t a rock festival. This was the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in Santubong, Sarawak.

Wait a minute, headbanging at a world music festival? What has the RWMF come to?

But take a closer look at Dazkarieh. Their music may sound like modern alternative rock, but there is nary an electric guitar in sight. In fact, out of the four members of the band, the only one who plays a “normal” instrument would be drummer Andre Silva.

When not singing, gorgeous lead singer Joana Negrão (who bears more than a passing resemblance to Bond girl Eva Green) also plays a mean bagpipe solo.

Meanwhile, band founder Vasco Ribeiro Casais plays a strange-looking violin-like instrument called the nyckelharpa, as well as bagpipes and a mandolin like bouzoki. And last, but definitely not least, between playing the mandolin and the bouzouki, Luis Peixoto also plays one of the weirdest instruments I have ever seen – the sanfona, a strange contraption which can only be described as a cross between a violin, an accordion, and one of those music boxes where you have to turn a wheel to get music out of.

Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival - Reviving the roots

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