Calypso music, classic Malaysian folk songs and more at RWMF
By Jude Toyat
The second night performance of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2015 on Saturday began on a Malaysian beat with indigenous group Mah Meri.
Wearing their iconic wooden masks and mengkuang skirts, they beat their hearts out on log drums and entertained the crowd with their ancient rites and folklore of their community on Carey Island.
Son de Madera, a band all the way from Mexico, continued to keep the audience entertained by playing the Son Jarocho, the regional folk music from Vera Cruz, a fusion of indigenous music with Spanish and African elements.
The audience sang and danced to their melodic, foot-tapping and happy music before being moved by a more oriental ambience as the Kenwy Yangqing Ensemble took the stage, bringing an impressive ensemble of yangqing (dulcimers) to the festival by playing a range of traditional Chinese songs.
Later on, Maldivian band Harubee delivered an energetic performance dancing and beating on the drums, not to mention jumping and dancing around the stage and taking off their clothes as the audience screamed their lungs out.
Culture Shot, a group of six young musicians performed several local native songs including Ulek Mayang and Wau Bulan (Wau Bule) as well as several Chinese songs sang in the Hokkien language accompanied by instruments such as rebana and erhu which engaged the audience.
Also performing during the second night of the festival was Kobo Town, a band from Trinidad and Tobago, that enchanted the crowd with its catchy Calypso-inspired music.
The night ended with a rocking performance from a France/Ethiopia band known as the Ukandanz which presented a breakaway from traditional music with its fusion of jazz and rock. The audience were banging their heads as they were moved by the original and innovative ‘crunch music’, which is clearly not for the faint-hearted.