Friday, July 03, 2015

Mixture of Sarawak’s traditional, modern sounds at the Rainforest World Music Festival 2015

KUCHING: Three Sarawakian bands will be entertaining the audience with their traditional music at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) at Sarawak Cultural Village here from August 7-9.

One of them is Kenwy Yang-Qin Ensemble, led by Ken Wy who is a master player of the yanggin, a traditional Chinese instrument which originally came from Persia.

To carry on with his passion on the uniqueness of the yanggin, he established a Music and Arts Academy in Kuching which allows others to gain an insight into the extreme expressive range and the bright tones of the yanggin, which is also called hammered dulcimer of China.

At this year’s RWMF, Ken Wy will be performing together with an impressive ensemble of yanggins and percussion bringing traditional Chinese music in its elegant and smooth vibe to the Rainforest.

The second Sarawakian band is Lan E Tuyang, led by Mathew Ngau, famous for his extraordinary skills on the Sape and a story teller. The audience will be taken on a musical journey revealing the life of the inhabitants of the rainforest and their traditional way of life in the olden days.

Ngau has been playing Sape, a traditional instrument with a boat shaped lute since he little. He is not only an expert on the instrument but also makes sapes, paints and dances and is an experienced blowpipe player.

His music is the music of the Kenyah from the Orang Ulu tribe in Sarawak and combines the calm and lonesome sound of sape with the traditional dances of the warriors.

To bring back the interest of the young generation in traditional music and instruments and to prove the variety and beauty of its kind, another Sarawakian band ‘Sayu Ateng’ (meaning ‘welcome’ in a local dialect) offers a modern and fresh mixture between old and contemporary sounds underlined with a strong Sarawak flavour.