RWMF 2016: Festival-goers danced it up despite the rain
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
Photo credits Sarawak Tourism Board
For the first time since we started covering the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) three years ago, the skies opened up and poured on the second night (Aug 6) just as the night performance was starting.
Despite the rain, that did not stop visitors at the RWMF 2016 from enjoying the music, swaying to the rhythms and partying the night away (although there were more prudent festival-goers who took shelter at Dewan Lagenda).
First to grace the night was Sarawak’s very own sape players Matthew Ngau Jau and Alena Murang whose melodious sape-playing filled the rainforest before moving on to Grecian band Stelios Petrakis Cretan Quartet from Greece who enchanted the crowds with their alluring music.
But the momentum of the night began to accelerate as Naygayiw Gigi Dance Troupe from Australia began to take the jungle stage.
Naygayiw Gigi, which means ‘northern thunder’, hail from Bamaga, the northernmost town in Queensland, Australia and are committed to preserving and maintaining their culture for the future generations.
Before they started their performance, the dance troupe paid respect to the indigenous people of Borneo receiving an appreciative applause from the crowds.
The dance troupe enchanted the crowds with their fascinating costumes and enthralling dance movements they used to tell stories of their journey and livelihood through music and dance.
Later on, the performance moved on to something a little closer to home as the emcee introduced the Band Girls of Sarawak Cultural Board at the Tree Stage.
Multi-talented and charming, the girls gave an alluring performance as they took the crowds on a musical journey performing traditional music using traditional musical instruments to the north of Malaysian Borneo when they introduced multiple dances of various ethnic group from Sabah such as the Kadazan-Dusun from Papar, the Bajau from Semporna, Timur from Tawau, and the Murut from Tenom.
Later on, the performance shifted back to the Jungle Stage as the crowds were treated to some South American flavour when Vocal Sampling from Cuba took over the stage.
Founded on December 20th 1989, the Vocal Sampling is all male sextet a capella group producing sounds of various musical instruments by using only their voices.
Musical instruments in and of themselves, among the songs they performed during the night were Tian Mi Mi (Sweet On You) by Teresa Teng and Hotel California by Eagles, prompting the crowd to sing along with them.
Moving on from the melodic rhythms from Cuba, the crowd was further entertained by Shenren from Yunnan, China who captivated with their upbeat and catchy tunes of a fusion between folk music and rock.
According to the band members, their music is influenced by the different ethnic groups in Yunnan infused with rock. Among the songs performed during the night songs were titled ‘The Crab’.
Also performing was Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band from Ghana who imbued the evening with a chill atmosphere with their jazzy, folklore tunes.