Since 2012 I have not been back to the Rainforest World Music Festival until this year. This year the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) pushed the festival dates back by a month due to the Muslim fasting month and Hari Raya celebration in July. For those of you who couldn’t make it this year, here are the images from day 1.
After I was picked up at Kuching International Airport, I thought I was heading to Santubong resort just like in previous years. But this year the festival performers and media were hosted by STB in Damai Beach Resort and this is my room. The Damai Beach Hilltop chalet, all to myself. Thanks STB for hosting me as an international media.
The sofa area in my hilltop chalet.
The exterior view.
The jacuzzi bathtub.
Lunch with Fyna and Aimi from 101.3 FM.
Master sape player Mathew Ngau playing the rhythm of the rainforest during the afternoon workshop.
Workshop titled “This is my island in the sun” by the group Kobo Town from Trinidad & Tobago.
Drew Gonsalves singing a calypso tune “If you are poor people will say shooo a dog is better than you, but if you have money even if you have leprosy people will love you!”
A musical journey tracing the roots of calypso.
Interactive dance workshop by Maldivian group Harubee.
One of the band member from Harubee teaching a festival goer how to play their drum.
Harubee on stage in Dewan Lagenda.
Member of the Harubee interacting and dancing with the crowd.
Singaporean girls enjoying themselves.
Community drum circle by 1DRUM.ORG
Juju from Korea is on long term travel and has been in Kuching for 4 months so far.
French journalist Marc from Lepetitjournal.com documenting the drum circle.
This session is open to anyone who want to join in.
Ellie from Adelaide
Even the kids love it.
Jenny from Sydney
Sangpuy from Taiwan. His songs ranges from beautiful and full longing tribal long dance that have been passed down generations after generations.
Sungpuy playing the nose flute. The Taiwanese aborigines are believed to be descendants of Austronesian tribes from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philipines, Madagascar and the pacific islands.
They have many similarities with the Dayak tribe of Borneo where they used to practice head hunting, animism, have a passion for tattoos and reverence for the natural world. They are one of the oldest surviving cultures of the world.
For those who has been to Bali, you will be familiar with the famous kecak of Bali, also known as the Ramayana Monkey Chant. This is the group Kobagi Kecak from Indonesia.
The kecak dance is primarily performed in a circle by men wearing checked cloth around their waist moving their hands and arms persuasively chanting “cak” going in circle.
The kecak dance is a trance-inducing dance which depict a battle from Ramayana where monkey-like Vanara helped King Rama fight the evil King Ravana.
The kecak is a very interactive dance where the performers chants and makes sound practically off any parts of their body. From hitting their chest.
To clapping their cheeks
More chest hitting
To pulling their throat
To their mouth.
But occasionally they also perform with bamboo percussion.
Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band
Cajun music is the rich mix of music from predominantly the Acardians, mixed with the different settlers of Spanish descent, the French Creoles, Germans, Scots Irish, Afro-Caribbean and Anglo Americans.
A prayer of blessing in between the performances.
Bargou 08 from Tunisia
The name Bargou is derived from the name of the mountain called Bargou located in the North-West of Tunisia.
Bargou 08 performs the music and sing the songs of Salhi from the nearly forgotten region of Seliana which is seperated by the mountain of Bargou.
Bargou 08’s music has very accentuating bass lines emphasizing on heavy rhythms and they deliver the ecstasy of trance and dance.
Hana Liu from Airasia Shanghai enjoying herself
They always save the best for last, and the last act of the first night is Shooglenifty from Scotland.
Shooglenifty is doing a world tour this year in conjunction with their Silver Jubilee 25th anniversary as a band.
They first performed at the Rainforest World Music Festival back in 1998, the 2nd year of the RWMF.
They came back for the 2nd time in 2007 during the 10th anniversary of the RWMF.
Most of the RWMF old timer will remember this group as they were among the favourites.
Cassandra and Marc really know how to enjoy themselves.
The fun thing about the festival is people from all over the place met for the first time and they had great fun together.
Even the festival volunteers get to join in the fun after their work.
A couple enjoying the moment during Shooglenifty’s performance.
Stay tune for Day 2