Sarawak : Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 Day 2

The second day of the RWMF usually is the most visited day of the 3 days festival. Mainly because it is a Saturday and quite a lot of those who came from out Kuching tend to take their return flight on Sunday. But from my observation, this year’s RWMF has less people compared to all the previous years.

With Japanese intern Haru before I head off to the festival ground. Haru is doing a 6 months internship with Sarawak Tourism Board.


Imbaq (left) is a loyal volunteer from Brunei. He joined as a volunteer for many years and even volunteered for Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri.


With some of the media during lunch. Singaporean girls Ellie and Ashley being surrounded by a bunch of bald guys.


I’ve been so busy all of a sudden this month. This post is gonna be mostly images and very little write up.


Wind in the bellows workshop at the Bidayuh house. This is a workshop featuring accordions in different styles lead by Geoff Le Blanc from Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band.



Geoff Le Blanc demonstrating the sound of accordion.








Shiver and Shake interactive workshop at Dewan Lagenda using the traditional bamboo anklungs.


Musician from Sarawak Cultural Village giving a demonstration on how to play the anklung.



Children of the Rainforest workshop at the Iban Longhouse featuring the Pygmies of the Congo, Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia and Orang Ulu of Sarawak. Above : Ndima demonstrating his unique bow instrument.


A French documentary film maker filming the workshop.


Sape player Jimmy (right) jamming during the workshop.


Musicians from Mah Meri with their bamboo instruments.


The Pygmies.



 Ellie from Adelaide came over to attend RWMF for the first time and she’s loving it. I told her it was so much better years before.



The food bazaar outside the Iban Longhouse.




The Iban longhouse food bazaar by the lake.


Main food bazaar.


Prue Hatcher is all geared up in case it gets muddy. The concert ground tend to get muddy once it rained.


The Sarawak handicrafts bazaar under the Malanau Tall House.







The Malanau Tall House.


Air brush temporary tattoo stall. Didier showing me the variety of tattoo design you can get.


Bunga terung motive temporary airbrushed tattoo on Didier’s forearm.


Sarawak Cultural Village dance performers at the welcome booth near the entrance.


Going into operating for the very first time at the RWMF this RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wrist band prevents illegal selling of replica wrist bands at the festival. Previous years someone actually bought the daily wrist band early in the day and had it made at one of the workshop in the city and sold them illegally. This RFID also double as a cashless purchase mechanism where you pre-load an amount of money and you can spend during the festival with out the worry of accidentally dropping your cash which happened pretty often at this kind of festivals.


Drums circle in the evening after the workshop.




Diyana from Ultra 101.3 FM.



Jenny from Sydney never missed the drum circle.











The iconic bamboo bridge at the Sarawak Cultural Village.



Dato Shake after the interview by the medias.


Orang Asli of Peninsula Malaysia’s Carey Island Mah Meri performing the opening act for the 2nd night.


A dance depicting the traditional ritual of “hand” picking a wife where the girls are hidden behind a curtain and only showing their hands above it. Potential husband choose their wife based on their hands.




The Orang Asli are the indigenous people from Peninsula Malaysia who have been living there since before the 1000BC, long before the Malays migrated over.



The maskman shamans performing for the very first time outside of their village, this wood mask has been passed down from generations.


Good luck charms made of dried leaves being given to the crowd during the performance.


Mexican band Son De Madera.


They play Son Jarocho, a regional Mexican folk music from Vera Cruz which is a fusion of indigenous music with some Spanish and African elements that merged together for more than 500 years.


Son De Madera’s lyrics are full of wicked innuendos and humorous.


Their music has the popular “la bamba” descend and are popular during parties and festivals where people would sing along and dance to it.


Kenwy Yangqing Ensemble is a Chinese yangqing percussion group from Kuching Sarawak.


Started by Kenwy who is a master of the yangqing, they later established a music and arts academy in Kuching focusing on the yangqing and traditional Chinese instruments.


I’ve always been impressed by this instruments as it has such a great range of tones and it require great accuracy when playing it.


The humorous group from Trinidad and Tobago, Kobo Town.


Drew Gonsalves is the main singer for the group who sings songs with lyrics inspired by daily lives on the streets.


Their music can be traced back to the roots such as African kaiso and Congolese traditional rhythm with influences from canboulay or harvest festivals as well as South American pasillo music.


Kobo Town’s calypso tune became the voice of the people as it is very catchy and rhythmic.


Some of the catchy lyrics are “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!”



Up next is the group that came all the way from the Indian Ocean, the Maldives. The band known as Harubee.


Consists of 16 young men full of energy they drove the crowd into a trance state dance.


They performed the evolved African music known as Boduberu which was brought over from the African continent as far back as the 11th century.



Their songs is about everyday live.


Their rhythms are very energetic and their dancers will go into a state of trance.


A state of trace.









Waving the flag of Maldives.




From the Indian Ocean to the Straits of Melacca’s Pearl of the Orient the Island of Penang, this is Culture Shot.


Consist of a 6 young musicians from different race and cultural background, they performs and sing songs with lyrics that are inspired by their childhood memories, many in the Chinese dialect of Hokkien.




Georgia Croft and her friends.


Georgia Croft and me. It’s funny how she sneaked up to me and started talking to me telling me how she admire my professions as she’s inspired to be a professional videographer. Nice girl.



Day 2 concert ended with the France Ethiopia band Ukandanz.


They always save the best group for the closing act. But ironically the main singer of this band missed his connecting flight so he didn’t show. LOL.


It was weird to have this heavy and energetic music being played but there was no singer.






Guess who I bummed into again! It’s Miss Cheongsam Malaysia 2015 Miss Sapphire Wong.


Even without the lead singer, they did their best and the crowd still had fun.



Met some KL fellas.

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