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21/05 Tuesday 07:10PM


image . rwmf.net .

This weekend, the mother of all music festivals in Malaysia will be shaking and moving all the creatures in the rainforests. Music will fill the air where the ancient trees live and dancing will carry on till the sun rises over the Santubong Mountain. The Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), now in its 15th year, goes live this weekend, 13th - 15th July, at the Sarawak Cultural Village at the foot of the Santubong Mountain, in Kuching, Sarawak.  For 3 years in a row, it has been voted by SongLines Magazine as one of the 25 best international festivals in the world, putting Sarawak on the world map. According to the editorial team of SongLines, “Selection of the festival is based on the broad representation of the quality and scope of music festivals around the world: from city-based events to ones in remote locations such as the Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak and the Festival in the Desert in Mali”.

The festival brings haunting, soothing, even heart-pounding and grooving performances from across the globe, attracting more than 20,000 international and local festival-goers to the magical land of Borneo for three days of daytime music workshops and action-packed nightly shows.  16 musicians and bands are scheduled to share their love of music and entertain with their own unique brand of music styles, including Sarawak-born singer-songwriter, guitarist and ukulele player, Zee Avi who is now an international star based in the United States. Zee Avi was first discovered on Youtube when she posted a song for a friend and since then, has found fame, fan-following and released several albums.  She is making a special appearance at this festival courtesy of the Sarawak State Government.

image . www.southeastasiabackpacker.com .

From Malaysia, 3 groups will be showing their musical forays with traditional instruments.  The Performers of Sarawak will be creating their music with various-sized gongs, huge log drums, all kinds of innovative bamboo instruments and the majestic sape, the boat-shaped lute that has become the symbol of the Rainforest World Music Festival. The Rhythm of Borneo consists of traditional musicians fluent in the art of the traditional gongs and kulingtangan. They bring a kind of ethno fusion style which infuses rock, funk, pop and jazz. The band won the Rainforest Talent Search in 2011 at the RWMF 2011 and opened for the festival at the "Sunset Concert". Diplomats of Drum will be spreading the love of beats and rhythms. Acclaimed as Malaysia's chief world music percussion troupe, this band has been voted three times as “Best Live Act” by MTV Asia. They are the only non-mainstream band to have performed at the Beijing Olympics 2008 musical showcase and the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Diplomats of Drums
image . rwmf.net .

International bands lined up for the weekend come from all over the world, bringing with them their unique sounds, instruments and cultural influences to the stage. Le Trio Joubran from Palestine will show their skills on the Oud while Mamadou Diabate from Burkina Faso brings the balafon to life in song. Samuel Dass and Prakash will give recitals with the exciting sitar, mixing the classical with contemporary. Hata, originally a 24-piece band with musicians from Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and Turkey will perform with just 9 members, sharing their enchantingly Eastern sound molded from different origins.

Khusugtun from Mongolia will perform a string of melodies comprising folk music instruments such as Grand Fiddle, Horse Head Fiddle, Bagpipe, Zither, Dzimbe (Drum), and Dombor (Stringed Instrument Resembling a Lute) etc, and overtone singing. Five members of the group will be performing A cappella with overtone singing. Since their establishment in 2009, they have been highly successful and have won several international awards.  Raiz De Cafezal will be introducing the Carimbo, one of the rhythms from the Brazilian Amazonian Indians which carries influences from Africa as well as other Brazillian cultural manifestations.

image . rwmf.net .

The night is for dancing when La Zikablio from France comes on. The energetic brass band handles many musical styles such as jazz, gypsy music, french chanson, latino music, rock'n'roll and reggae combined with traditional instruments of fanfare and the accordian.  Continue the dancing with Kanda Bongo Man from Congo. This man gave the world the infectious Kwasa Kwasa dance and is one of the first pioneers of the African Soukous music. Fast-moving, exciting and optimistic, his music and dance movements are deeply rooted in the Congolese traditions.

Oreka from Spain will provide an audio and visual experience with their historical percussion instrument, the Basque Txalaparatis and images from their travels. Cankisou from the Czech Republic will energise with original ethnic fusion music full of wild rhythms and spiced with rock roots.  Fanyel Waro from Reunion Island will sing the poetic blues in Creole with traditional instruments in the style of the maloya, a compound rhythm on which plantation workers have long been singing their joys and woes. Then there are the String Sisters from Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and USA - top female fiddlers who joined together to celebrate each of their region's musical traditions.

Three days and nights of non-stop music and action at the foot of a legendary mountain in a multicultural location covered with the air of rainforests. Nothing beats that.

image . rwmf.net .

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