Sarawak : Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 Day 3

Day 3 of the RWMF 2015. I woke up to a cool and cloudy day, nice but my concern is that it might rain later in the day. That’s no fun as the concert ground is gonna get muddy. I’m not fond of that. Back in 2012, it rained and my Thinktank pouch got stained by the mud and it took me a week to wash off the mud smell. I took it easy today. Enjoy the pix!

Haru sure knows how to enjoy her time at the beach. Shy as ever Haru in her swimsuit after a swim.


The coolest sign during the whole festival. Let the photo speaks for itself. LOL.


Just as I feared, the low clouds got held up when they reached Mount Santubong and started to rain. I took shelter at the Borneo Temporary Airbrush Tattoo tent and hung out with Didier. A festival goer getting his temporary tattoo done.


A traditional head hunter’s motive usually done on the warrior’s arm.


Getting the real thing would be cool but painful as the traditional way of having it inked onto your skin is done by hand, slowly. Further down this post you’ll see the real thing being done.


Didier getting a geisha done.


I initially wanted to have this geisha airbrushed onto my left chest where my heart is but I was told it would get rubbed off since I’ll have my shirt on. And even if I’m not wearing my shirt my camera strap will most probably do the same damage it it. So I didn’t get. How sad.


And it’s done, on Didier’s thigh.


At the Bidayuh house, the real deal is going on.


A girl getting a native tattoo done the traditional way.


And it takes a long time to finish. You see how the tattoo artist is knocking the ink needle? That’s how it’s done the traditionally.


I missed most of the workshop as it was raining heavily for over 2 hours. By the time the rain was light enough to walk without getting drenched, it was nearly 4pm. This is “Sing A Different Tune” workshop.


I then head over to the Iban longhouse and it was surprising very few people this time. I guess it’s Sunday. Le Blanc Bros Cajun Band conducting the workshop on Cajun music and it’s history. Nothing much here. Next stop Dewan Lagenda.


So this is where everyone is.


“We Are The World” workshop at Dewan Lagenda. This is where the musicians at the RWMF gets together and jam. This is the great blind guitarist Kedari from Sayu Ateng. He handles the guitar like another of his limb.


He even play it with his tongue.


And he can also flip the guitar the other way round and plays it in reverse. Handling his cords with his right hand even when bass strings are at the bottom.


Everyone was amazed at how he played.


Ellie, Jenny and Ellie. All 3 girls have one thing in common. One of them studied in Australia while the others resided there.


With Ellie (Adelaide) and Jenny (Sydney).


Chilling by the lake.


The food bazaar at the Iban long house.


BBQ lamb in the making.


Manuk Pansuh being slowly cooked over slow charcoal fire.


Manuk Pansuh is a traditional Iban dish where the chicken is cooked inside the bamboo over slow fire.




The Orang Ulu long house.


For those who just want to sit and chill during the concert, they can still watch the live feed here at the main food bazaar.


The final day concert kicked off with performance by the group Ndima from Congo Brazzaville.


These are the pygmies from the rainforest of the Republic of Congo.


Their dance remains unchanged for thousands of years and their singing is very unique and intricately polyphonic.




They are very similar to the indigenous people of Borneo, they are hunter-gatherers and are children of the rainforest. Hey it looks nice in black and white.


It’s a shame how badly the stage were designed. Photographers shooting in the photographer’s pit couldn’t get a good angle to capture the performers with their instruments when they perform sitting down on the 2nd tier of the stage (like the pix above). Most if not all the media photographers had lodged complains to the organizer regarding this issue. “Our apologies, it’s too late to do anything now. When we did the stage renovation years ago, our official photographer gave us his professional consultation on how the stage should renovated so he could get his shots from the 1st tier. And the stage is a permanent stage made of concrete. It will cost a lot of money to redo.” said one of the organizer. The previous official photographer pissed off a lot of the local and international medias the year when newly renovated stage first used as he kept blocking everyone including the audience when he was shooting on tier 1 of the stage. He was replaced after that year.


Kedari the blind guitarist performs with his band Sayu Ateng from Sarawak, Borneo.




The head hunter warrior prayer of blessing in between sets.



This Spanish group named Korrontzi performs with great energy. Performing with traditional instruments from the Basque region such as the trikitixa (looks like an accordion), the wind wood instrument called alboka (looks like a bull’s horn) and the mandolin (pix above).



Their tunes is accompanied by foot tapping and powerful dance.


Korrontzi is one of my favourite group as they are so energetic and great for photographs. Especially in black and white.



Korrontzi plays traditional folk tunes with celtic and rock elements.





Agus Barandiaran the baldie leads the group with an instrument which in the past was condemned, the trikitixa the diatonic accordion. It was condemned because it was once known as being “the devil’s instrument” where it’s tune being considered “the winds of hell”. Look closely at this photo and see the “smoke” coming off his body as he released “the wind of hell” through “the devil’s instrument” and watch the whole video below.



From this angle, it looks as if the smoke also came out from his mouth.


Ginny and Ashley.


Ashley, me and Ginny.


The Kecak Rite.


Led by the Kobagi Kecak group the RWMF musicians and the crowd formed a huge circle.


And joined in the Kecak ritual.



Diyana from Ultra 101.3fm dancing in the middle of the circle.


And last performance of the RWMF 2015, by the group from Reunion Island Lindigo.


Lindigo is well known for the Maloya music. Maloya was once the secret music of the slaves at the sugar plantations at La Reunion.


Maloya has a mix of afrobeat, samba and Madagasy poliphony.



Lindigo’s performance drove the crowds nuts.







Olivier Araste leading the group’s performance.




Maloya was once an ancestral worship ritual but later became a lament against poverty, slavery and a vehicle to asserting political rights.



Put Maloya in the hands of Lindigo it gets really physical and funky.


The crowd are loving their beat. Cassandra dancing to the Maloya.


RWMF first-timer is wearing his favourite music festival hyppie pants which he bought from a cloths by the pound shop in France.


Cassandra being playful.



Cassandra and Marc.


The family crest or Coat of Arm of the white rajah Brooke being flown at the start of the RWMF 2015 finale. “Dum Spiro Spero”.










Marc and Cassandra really going at it.









Korean Ellie and me. Thanks for the ride home from KLIA Ellie!




Here are a collection of video clips taken during the 3 days festival.

Drum circle


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