RWMF 17th edition begins today
THE RAINFOREST WORLD MUSIC FESTIVAL kicked off today with a bang as this year’s 17th edition features 22 international and local performers and 27 workshops over three stages from June 20-22.
This year’s lineup include Blackbeard’s Tea Party (England), Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italy), Dakhabrakha (Ukraine), Debademba (Burkina Faso/Mali/France), Ding Yi Music Company (Singapore), Gema Seribu (Sarawak), Geng Wak Long (Malaysia), Gordie Mackeeman & His Rhythm Boys (Canada) Horomonahoro (New Zealand), Jagwa Music (Tanzania), Kalakan (Spain), Karinthalakoottam (South India), Lo Cor De La Plana (France), Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Wales), Nading Rhapsody (Sarawak), Ryuz (Japan), Stephan Micus (Germany), Son Yambu (Cuba), Talago Buni (Indonesia), Yayasan Warisan Johore (Malaysia), 1Drum.org (Malaysia), Bisaya Gong Orchestra (Sarawak), and Lan E Tuyang (Sarawak) who had come to show various genres of songs.
According to Jamie Smith, of Jamie Smith’s Mabon from Wales, the festival has given them the opportunity to showcase their talents while bringing their cultures to other parts of the world.
“We are the first band from Wales to make an appearance at this internationally-recognised festival of Rainforest World Music Festival, and we are indeed happy and proud to be here,” he said during the RWMF press conference on June 20.
Mauro Durante, from the band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino (Italy) also said that they were looking forward to perform here at the RWMF and let the audience feel their music and dance along.
As for band member from Karinthalakootam from India, Arup Roy, it is a feather in their cap to be given the golden opportunity to perform at the festival this year. “This is the first time a folk music group from India play at one of the best festivals and it is a big pride for us here, looking forward to our performances and the receptions of the audiences.”
In terms of how the festival helps in the branding of bands, Jamie added, “This festival has an international reputation to be one of the best festivals in the world, so to come and perform here is a good sign for festival organisers and press around the world, and if the band has this opportunity, it really means that the band is being taken seriously. Although this is our first time here we are very excited to make our band known in other parts of the world.”
Playing music is one thing, but bringing cultures and tradition to accompany it is another major thing to consider. For Mohd Kamrulbahri, band member of Geng Wak Long, the Kelantanese music that they play is a musical tradition passed down through the generations and they have been sharing and introducing their music and the instruments used to other parts of the world.
World music appeals to everyone, whether you understand the language or not, everyone can feel the tune and punch of the music, and that is what ‘world music’ really means for performers at the RWMF, hoping that the message will be passed down to future generations.
Sights and sounds during the day (June 20)
Talago Buni (Indonesia) and Horomona Horo (New Zealand) were the first groups to kickstart RWMF’s first day with their distinct and unique cultural performances, performing at 2.15-3pm and 3.30-4.15pm respectively at the SCV Auditorium.
Founded in 1998, Talago Buni performs the music of the Minangkabau people in West Sumatra. They were inspired to develop contemporary music with elements of Minangkabau musical tradition.
Composer, practitioner and cross-genre collaborator, HoromonaHoro fused traditional Maori instruments, taongapuoro (singing treasures) within a diverse range of cultural and musical forms. Mentored by tohunga of taongapuoro, the late Dr Hirini Melbourne and Dr Richard Nunns in 2001, Horo won the inaugural Dynasty Heritage Concerto competition and in the intervening years became the international Maori face of TaongaPuoro.