Good vibrations at Sarawak Cultural Village
Sarawak Tribune - Sunday, 13 July 2003

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6th Rainforest World Music Festival

THE Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) was alive Friday night with the sounds of world music at the 6th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).

Groups that performed for the night included Lan E-Tuyang and Belaga Asap Group from Malaysia, Valeri Dimchev Trio from Bulgaria. Omar Pene and the Super Diamano from Senegal and Tarika from Madagascar.

The opening of the RWMF started with a cultural performance by Lan E- Tuyang formed by Uchau Bilong and Matthew Ngau Jau. The other member of Lan E- Tuyang, Yagat Usang, is a well-known musician in Sarawak.

After that was the presentation of a Kayan-Kenyah "Parap" by Belaga Asap Group. Parap is a folk song of love, happiness, loneliness, anger and other emotional expressions. It also extols the beauty of nature and all living things while providing some insight into the community's way of life.

The Valerie Dimchev Quartet which did a blend of Bulgarian folk music kept the crowd entranced with their powerful and captivating performance. The group, led by Valeri Dimchev performed provided backing for the hauntingly beautiful voice of their female singer, Desislava Dimcheva. The other members of the group are Aleksander Popov and Dragomir Dimov. They used several instru­ments which included the tarambouka - a small Oriental drum, a svirka - a short flute, and a tamboura - a long-necked instrument with four double strings played with a plectrum.

Africa was represented by a Senegalese master musician, Omar Pene and the Super Diamano, inter­weaving popular Mibalax groove with jazz acid blues.

Vocalist and composer Pene has played a pivotal role in the evolution of Senegalese music. In fact, he and his band have influenced the music of their homeland for more than a quarter of a century. While their roots remain in the traditional Mibalax rhythms of Senegal, Pene and Super Diamano blend a global range of influences, which include reggae and jazz, into their enthralling dance music.

In the search for their musical roots, Tarika has successfully cap­tured the root music of the different regions of their Indian Ocean Island home. The songs portrayed by the group addresses challenging issues such as the situation of women in Malagasy society, further pushing the boundaries of Malagasy roots music. The vibrant, captivating blend of music led by Hanitra Rosoanaivo strongly features local instruments with a blend of infectious melodies, buoyant grooves and energetic dancing kept the crowd on their toes all night.

A delightful addition to the festi­val this year comes was the Chipolatas for England. This entertaining trio of Tristan Glover, Samuel Thomas and Gareth King combined traditional English folk music with savvy clowning and acrobatics. Their energy, vivacity, passion and incredible wit fascinated the crowd.

The performances scheduled for Saturday night are Adik-Adik Rurum Kelabit and Lan E- Tuyang, the Bisayah Gong Orchestra both groups from Malaysia', Ensemble Kaboul from Afghanistan, Huun Huur Tu/Malerija from Russia and La Volee Di Castors from Canada.

Sunday night's concert will feature Bedok Ensemble of SCV, the Mah Meri Group both from Malaysia, B' Net Marrakech from Morroco, Krakatau from Indonesia, and Habana Son Club from Cuba.

During the three day festival there will also be afternoon interactive workshops, ethno-musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, followed by evening performances on the main stage. Other events include children workshops, dance workshops and story telling among the many festival activities. Besides that there will be an arts and crafts area as well as a counter for festive memorabilia, Sarawak souvenirs and CDs by performing artistes will also be available at the booths.

Come and experience the fusion of exotic world music from the rain forest of Borneo and all corners o the world. Catch the rare sounds o ethnic musical instruments and be mesmerize like others who had.