International line-up to end the final night of RWMF 2016
By Patricia Hului
The final day of Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) saw an international line-up crammed with sounds from seven different countries.
The 19th edition of the festival had The Thunder Beats of Nanyang Wushu Drums (Sarawak), Broukar (Syria), Violons Barbares (Bulgaria, Mongolia, France), Chouk Bwa Libete (Haiti), Gendang Melayu Sri Buana (Sarawak) and Auli (Latvia) killing the stage with their unique sounds.
Twelve drums representing each month of a year from The Thunder Beats of Nanyang Wushu Drums opened the night with their roaring beats.
Datuk Song Swee Hee of Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak orchestrated their choreography.
Festival revellers were then taken to war-torn country of Syria through classical Arab and Syrian music presented by Broukar.
Taufik Mirkhan, the leader of the band, shared that it was their hope to be able to teach their traditional music to the younger generation of Syria once their country achieved peace.
The highlight of Broukar’s performance was none other than the Whirling Dervish dance where Ahmad Alkhatib mesmerised the crowd with his rapid spins and hand movements which was believed to reference the name of God according to Sufism.
Violons Barbares, a trio of musicians from three countries – Bulgaria, France and Mongolia – gave a refreshing performance for the audience which featured the Bulgarian bowed string called gadulka, Mongolian violin called Morin Khur and percussion.
The sounds they produced were diverse yet harmonious, making the audience sway to their unique music.
Meanwhile, Chouk Bwa Libete from Haiti brought to the stage of RWMF elements of Haitian Voodoo rhythm and dance, a widely practiced religion in the country.
Rather than relying on exacting choreography, the members moved their bodies in accordance to the Voodoo music.
Making their presence felt among the international line-up was Gendang Melayu Sri Buana from Sarawak whose playing turned the upbeat atmosphere into that of a Malay village as the performers played the gendang.
Led by Rajali Abang, the group had the audience joget to their music on the muddy and stony ground of SCV.
The concoction of sounds of the RWMF final concert for 2016 was concluded by Auli from Latvia.
Their music was all about folklore and medieval tunes played with the Latvian bagpipes and drums.
They also had flown in one of the biggest tree trunk drums in the Baltic to Sarawak to entertain the crowd of RWMF.
The night officially ended with the final bow by over 80 performers and volunteers.
Also seen enjoying the final performances of RWMF were Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing and Minister of Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Hui Kian.
RWMF has been voted as one of the top 25 World Music Festivals by Songlines Magazine for six years in-a-row and was supported by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC) and endorsed by Tourism Malaysia with Malaysia Airlines Berhad as the presenting sponsor.
RWMF 2017 is expected to be held July 14 till 17.