Sape lovers can read up on the iconic instrument in a new book
By Jude Toyat
For those who want to know all there is about the sape, one of Sarawak’s most iconic traditional instruments, they can take a chapter from ‘Alat Muzik Tradisional Sarawak: Sape’ a new book launched during the World Harvest Festival (WHF) 2016 held at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) recently.
The book entitled ‘Alat Muzik Tradisional Sarawak: Sape’ will explore the stringed instrument’s origin, how it is made as well as how it has evolved. It also includes Sape makers and players who have made their mark and are known globally.
SCV music arranger and composer Narawi Rashidi, Unimas music lecturer Connie Lim Keh Nie, and sape activist and instructor from Sape’Star Saufi Aiman Yahya co-wrote this book published by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).
“We must praise the co-authors of ‘Alat Muzik Tradisional Sarawak: Sape’ for their determination and effort in gathering relevant information on the Sape’ including its legends and art activists. It will surely become an important reference for future generations,” said Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi during the launch.
He hoped that cultural music and the like could be incorporated in school curriculum as early as primary school to enrich the lives of the younger generation and prevent them from being heavily influenced by foreign cultures and social values.
Abdul Rahman quoted P Ramlee: ‘Anak-anak merupakan seperti kain putih, jiwa mereka kosong, jika kita tidak menanamkan ilmu agama atau seni budaya tempatan, suatu hari nanti, budaya asing akan mengambil tempat di hati mereka.’
(Children are like white cloth, their souls are empty, if we do not instil religious knowledge or arts of local cultures, someday, foreign cultures will take place in their hearts.)
“A lot of foreign cultures exist in our country. Therefore, the Sarawak Cultural Village, Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka and several other agencies related to arts and education must enhance their efforts in elevating the local cultures and arts.
“We also hope that the DBP will continue to support the efforts of documenting Sarawak cultures, and SCV that has won several awards locally and internationally for being a leading organisation in the preservation and promotion of arts and culture to continue to excel in the national and international art,” he added.
Prior to the book launching, members of the audience were treated to a sape concert held at Panggung Budaya that featured professional Sape players from Sarawak, Indonesia, Brunei, France, and Negeri Sembilan.