RWMF Promoting Sarawak’s Musical Heritage
KUCHING: RWMF 2019 will feature five Sarawak Bands who will play alongside some of the most prolific world music bands from all parts of the world.
The wildly popular At Adau brings the ancient melodies and rhythms from the different tribes in Borneo to the 21st century by fusing it with contemporary elements. The seven member group combine sape’ tunes and traditional percussion from the Bidayuh and Iban with their own arrangements to present a pop-folk medley of songs which have made them a big cult figure in the local music scene in the last few years.
Kemada from Sibu in Northern Sarawak are dedicated to preserving traditional Iban music, games, culture and the gendang pampat, a traditional drum usually played during rituals and important celebrations such as Gawai Dayak. In the old days, the permission to use the gendang pampat was limited and sacred. Often they were prohibited which made them more precious to preserve yet at the same time, risking extinction because they were not allowed to be used often.
Suku Menoa comprises of five dedicated musicians preserving the culture and identity of the Iban tribe. They will bring to the world stage, their rituals, music and chants to provide a glimpse into how integrated all these are in their daily lives, even today.
From the Bidayuh community of Kampong Atas Singai in Bau come Staak Bisomu who will provide a fascinating look at the old and hidden rituals still practised by the tribe.
Winners of the Waterfront Music Festival 2017, Suk Binie’ are 7 musicians from Bau. They play arrangements of traditional melodies from the ethnic communities of the Bidayuh, Iban and Orang Ulu.
Many forms of performing arts are under threat today and although Sarawak has been diligently promoting and preserving its cultural heritage, many traditional practices have been abandoned.
Music is perhaps one of the best examples of this but with the popularity of ‘World Music’ at the RWMF in Sarawak and many other parts of the world, there has been a resurgence in cultural heritage promotion. Festivals like RWMF performs an important role in cultural exchange and encourages creativity that enriches the international art scene and is mostly intended to promote tourism.
Today, more effort is spent on safeguarding measures for traditional performing arts such as transmission of knowledge and techniques of playing traditional musical instruments and research, recording and documentation are being carried out.
In the last few years RWMF has played a crucial role in ensuring the viability of traditional forms of performing arts by developing audiences and raising awareness amongst the general public as well as to an international audience.
Meanwhile the Rainforest in the city (RITC) will take place from July 2 – 11 at Kuching Amphitheatre from 8.00pm till 11.00pm daily, hosted by Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, in collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Board. Entrance is free and open for public.
The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organized by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth & Sports Sarawak.
For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to https://rwmf.net/