This year's marks the 17th edition of the Rainforest World Music Festival and thanks to Sarawak Tourism Board as well as Sarawak Bloggers for giving me the opportunity to attend this festival once again for the last 3 years. I gotta say, this year's festival is the best one I've had out of the last 3 I've been to. Maybe it's the changes in the way the festival is run or the group of people that I have the privilege to enjoy the festival with. (Definitely for this reason, without a group of fun people, this festival would not be as fun. haha So make sure to go to this festival with people you're comfortable with and you can be yourself around them!) I would also like to thank the project team, staff, volunteers, tourism industry and anybody I've missed out for their hard work in making sure this festival run smoothly and also not to mention the shuttle bus drivers for shuttling us back and forth to the media centre with their courteous and polite service. :)
Here's a little something about Rainforest World Music Festival for the people who's planning to go there or never heard of this festival (impossible la, haha).
"The Rainforest World Music Festival is a unique festival that brings together on the same stage renowned world musicians from all continents and indigenous musicians from the interiors of the mythical island of Borneo. Its formula of afternoon informative workshops, ethno musical lectures, jamming sessions and mini concerts, followed by evening performances on the main stage has proven to be a hit with the audience.
This festival is a not to be missed occasion, guarantees a smashing time in the heart of the Borneo Jungle."
-Taken from rwmf.net-
Couldn't describe it better myself, all I could describe is the experience that I've had at the RWMF 2014. :)
The Entrance to Sarawak Cultural Village where the festival was held.
This year the organizers had put a lot of thoughts into ensuring the comfort of the festival goers. As can be seen from the picture above, the tent was erected so the people who was in line to buy the tickets would not have to stand under the direct sunlight. This was really thoughtful in my opinion as the heat around the time the festival was held this year was terribly, horribly and vegetabley HOT. Everywhere you go, you would hear people complaining about the heat. lol. In fact I greet my friends with " Today very hot ho?" instead of the normal 'Hello'. lol
Stalls for souvenirs, food, drinks, snacks and information counter can be found near the entrance of Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV). Although there were more scattered around the place. For example there's another souvenir stalls at Dewan Lagenda and there's also wine sold as well as ice cream (IT'S A MUST!) sold there.
CDs of all the performer's can be obtained here. The official RWMF 2014 shirt is also sold here, along with numerous RIPCURL shirts for men and women both. Remember to bring enough CASH though because all of the stalls there works on CASH PAYMENT basis and also there's no ATM around to withdraw money. If for local there's one at Damai Central which is a Bank Rakyat ATM which thankfully I can withdraw money from or else I have to pan handle for money for the rest of Day 2 and 3. Alright I exaggerate la, of course can borrow money from friends but then again if no friends how? lol. I think whoever is in charge should provide a couple more ATM at Damai Central or maybe one inside SCV. Kinda important to be honest and also I was shocked that for such a big place there's only one ATM available. Anyway, the lesson is BRING ENOUGH CASH!
Snacks sold there. The lady 'control'. LOL The coconut water sold here was pretty good. Refreshing too.
Nice weather but hot.
This year's food mart was mostly owned by BCCK if not all. Only some were from independent owners such as the wine stall but I'm not sure. Rarely visited the food mart. I was there only to check up on this year's price for the food and beverage. It was not that reasonable but compared to last year's price, then this year's price has gone down a bit. It's still cheaper to eat out at Damai Central of course but that would mean walk all the way out there. Lazy. lol. What I really like the most was the fact that they had decrease the price of bottled water. It used to be RM3 but this year it was RM2. Management, come I clap for you. XD Soft drinks was RM3 and beer prices remain the same RM10 per can. Kinda expensive but oh well, I don't drink. haha
Food Mart. Various food were sold there. Sandwiches and shawarma were among those.
Place to sit and relax. This has been improved, it used to be just planks of dryboard instead of cement floor, if you know what I mean. I don't know anything about construction, obviously.
And of course Heineken stalls are set up everywhere in SCV. There's the Heinekabana and the one shown below which is near the Food Mart. And another one at Dewan Lagenda. Plenty of beers to go around. lol
Beer? A nice place to chillax. There's a big screen set up so you can see the performance from here.
Alright now's the time for the gem of the festivals, The Workshops. I prefer the workshops more than the concert itself. Don't get me wrong, of course the concert is awesome but I prefer the workshop because it's more up close and interactive. You get to learn more about the instruments, the performers and their culture here.
The first workshop I went was the Plucked, Strummed & Stuck (2-245pm) workshop which was held at the Iban Longhouse. This workshop is about the different techniques on stringed instruments.
From L to R : Emmanuelle Licci (Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino), Nobuto Yamanaka (Ryuz), Kamaruzaman Bin Bahari (Yayasan Warisan Johore), Randy Walter ( Nading Rhapsody), Wei Ya Yi (Ding Yi Music Company), Peter Cann and Thomas Webb (Gordie Mackeeman & His Rhythm Boys) and another one not in the picture Traore Abdoulaye (Debademba)
This workshop was lead by Martin Coumbe from Blackbeard's Tea Party and he's the guy with the purple cap and wore an AMAZING T-Shirt. I'll show you why later. :)
One of the performance that really caught my eyes and impressed me was the performance by Nobuto Yamanaka from Ryuz. If the name didn't give it away, he is the Japanese guy in the picture. The instrument he played was called the Tsugaru Shamisen as you can see above. A beautiful piece of instrument really and the 'pluck' that he used was made out of tortoise shell. Talk about traditional instrument, it can't get more traditional than that. I'm bad at explaining stuff so here's a video for you to watch and hear how this instrument sounds like as well as the ways its played.
The crowd concentrating
For the first day, the crowd turn out was actually impressive because usually the crowd on the first day is the least and quadrupled the amount by second day and decrease by a bit on the third day. I guess the second day has the most people is because of the fact that it's a Saturday, party hard on Sat and rest and take it easy on Sunday. Back to the workshop, the rest of them then gave a short introduction about themselves and their instrument and proceed to played each of their respected instruments. Some of the notable instruments in this workshop for me is the Yang Qin, Mandolin and the Banjo. I love love the sound of Banjo. lol
Photo Credit STB
After all of them had strummed their stringed instruments, then it's time for a little jamming session! They decided to jam to Deep Purple - Smoke On The Water. In my heart I was like, "Oh man, this is gonna be AWESOME!", because I love that song. :D Anyway here's a video of the jam session, I could yap all day and couldn't describe it better than a video recording could.
Went to the BIG and ROUND (teehee....big and round. hehe) workshop next at Dewan Lagenda to catch the workshop on frame drums from all over. A frame drum is a drum that has a drumhead width greater than its depth.(wiki) I'm not even gonna pretend that I understand what a drumhead is. But apparently a frame drum is one of the most ancient musical instruments, might also be the first ever kind of drum to be invented. Pretty cool.
L to R : The group members from Lo Cor De La Plana, Manu Theron, Rodin Kaufmann, Denis Smpieri, Sebastien Spessa, Benjamin Novarino-Gianna. Then the group members from Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino, Mario Durante and Giancarlo Paglialunga.
But I didn't stay long for this workshop because I have to rush to the theatre to catch a performance by Horomona Horo. I found out later from a friend ( Bonnie :) ) I met days later at the concert that this workshop was amazing. Sigh. But oh well, what to do, the time for some of the workshop clashes with the Theatre Stage performance this year and it's always a good idea to be early to a workshop or performance early to get a good seat. So have to pick and choose wisely. :D
Crowd at Dewan Lagenda for the Big and Round workshop. I wonder who came up with the name for the workshop. lol
Horomona Horo performance starts at 3.30pm - 4.15pm at the Theatre Stage which was held at SCV Auditorium. Three main reasons as to why I wanted to catch this performance. One, I love Maori cultures and their haka. Two, a hot guy with an amazing tattoos all over his body is going to perform almost practically naked (COME ON LA! I'm sure like 70% of the girls went there just for this reason. lol Anyway, it's their traditional costume. awesome) and three the hall is air conditioned which is A +++ for a hot day like it was that day.
Alittle something about Horomona Horo, he is a Maori musicians and composer. He is also the practitioner of Taonga pūoro which is the collective term for the traditional musical instrument of the Maori. Each instrument has a specific use within rites of passage, storytelling and daily life of the Maori people. He continues to immerse himself in the unique sounds, techniques and intrinsic significance and practices of taongapuoro.
I think this was the best picture I took of him with my crap camera.
At the performance, he explains about the importance of the balance between the nature and humans and that we have to rely and respect each other. I couldn't remember exactly but he also says that everyone should try planting seeds, grow and harvest the vegetables and eat it. Something like that. lol.
I liked the fact that before the performance began, he was arranging all of his musical instruments properly and gently on a table. He also kisses all of the instruments one by one as a sign of respect. It was kind of cool really, it just shows how much respect and passion he has for the instruments.
Then he started blowing on this instrument and the sound it makes is so cool. Kinda like going to battle.
Here's a video to illustrates it better. It's 13 minutes long though. So if you have a good connection, AWESOME! If you don't like me, just skip to the best part which for me was at 10:25 for the haka performances. The snail thingy instruments were pretty cool too.
After that, we went to Dewan Lagenda back again to rest and to charge our mobile phones and gadgets. Another good tip, bring an extension cable if you're travelling with a group. A plug can be turned into a charging station for everyone all at the same time. And make sure to thank the person who brings the extension cable. (Thanks Khairool!!!lol Another candy for you!)
Just lounging around at Dewan Lagenda before dinner at Media Tent.
The Media Tent this year has been relocated back to inside SCV just right next to the Chinese Farmhouse. This is an awesome place to place the Media Tent if you ask me for a few reason. We don't have to walk out to Damai Central to get food like we did last year (it's just not convenient, not that I don't appreciate it). Besides that we can just stop by at the Media Tent if we're tired and just get some water. Oh and I noticed there's a water dispenser at there this year. This is fantastic! (Whoever came up with that idea, thanks!) Basically it's just more convenient to have the Media Tent inside SCV. The food served was okay, when you're hungry everything is taste awesome huh? But the sweet and sour fish that was served on the last day was the best! hahaha
After dinner, Ophelia, Grace and I decided to get an airbrush tattoo. It's becoming like a tradition now, it's fun getting an airbrush tattoo. You get the feeling of having a tattoo without permanent effect. LOL. I wanna get a real one but my mom would probably killed me, I don't feel like getting Chokeslam, so. :S But getting a tattoo is in my bucket list so, in future. :)
We went to this booth. Highly recommended.
There's always two airbrush tattoo booth every year the Rainforest Festival. And it's always the same companies every year. I prefer this booth because I think the quality of the tattoo was better and for me the design was sometimes better as well. But to each his own. I just prefer this booth. :)
Evangeline and Grace getting their tats on.
So Ophelia got a Bunga Terung tattoo on her forearm and Grace got a TRAMP STAMP!! LOL! It's a butterfly design tattoo on her lower back, so yeah it falls into that category. XD
And I got........*drum roll* (lame...)
A Lizard Tattoo!! Me likey. Guys, meet Lizzy the airbrush lizard tattoo. :)
After all that excitement of getting a fake tattoos which we act like it was real (haha) and checking each other's tattoos out, it's time for concerts. We missed a couple in the beginning though which was the Sape and Warrior (Sarawak) and the Bisayah Gong Orchestra (Sarawak). The next to perform was Kalakan from Basque. Kalakan bet on simplicity, elegance and communication with his crowd generating and carrying emotions. Kalakan also develop an intimate relationship with his audience by choosing a return to basics. They sing Basque texts from 16th century as texts if contemporary poets, acapella or with their drums. (RWMF Guide Book) Now on to my lousy and layman's description of the concert.
The guy on the drum on the far right was so awesome!
It was a really good performance with a lot of rhythmic drumming and smooth plays of the flutes and not to mention the singing. So good. I enjoyed the performance by this group a lot. I don't know how to explain I just know how to enjoy. lol!
Shots from where I am in the crowd.
Yeah! Enjoying the performance among the crowd is the best because we get to know how the other festival goers experienced. I don't care much for beautiful photos really, just the experience. :) And also my crappy camera can't even take good pictures even if I'm literally right next to them. Sigh. Time for a new camera.
Nah, a video for you. :)
Sorry for the bass noise though, cam couldn't handle loud bass.
Very head bobbing performance which means AWESOME!
The next performance was Son Yambu from Cuba/UK. Son Yambu play authentic 'Son Cubano'( Cuban Son) which is the essential Afro-Cuban music that originated in the streets of eastern Cuba at the turn of the last century. Son is a fusion of Spanish and African rhythms and is the root of all salsa music. Playing their irresistible tropical rhythms, they bring their audiences a truly sensational, authentic Latin-music experience.
The front lead singer, Yuriselys Moreno Soria grooving it to the rhythms. That woman can dance! lol
Another great performance for the night for sure. Her music makes me feel like I'm literally at a festival in Cuba, near their beach party and drinking a Pina Colada while watching people dance away at the dancefloor. lol It's because I can't dance and I rather save myself the embarassment. It's definitely a music that you can groove too and a lot of people did indeed do that. And the fact that Yuri was dancing along was awesome too. :)
Nice and pleasant smile. :)
I did took some videos of their performances but because it was too loud, all I can hear from the videos I took was the bass noise and not the music so I decided not to post it up. I made something to let you experience the concert though. :)
'Dancing Is For Free!!'- Yuri from Son Yambu. Totally agreed with the quote and dance away people!
You like the GIF? XD
Right after this, we decided to head to the Heinekabana to chill and relax because in order to enjoy the festival, you've got to know when to take a break and when to join the crowd. If not, it would be tiring which would equals to not being able to enjoy and having fun at the festival. Basically it's all about having fun with friends. :D
With the awesome group of bloggers at Heinekabana! Thanks to Ana's friend for taking this picture. :)
L to R : Ana Jonessy, Garner, Ophelia, Fahri (hope I got your name right.haha), Veyroniqa, Lindy and Khairool. Alyssa and Aliey was still partying at the concert at this time. :(
Was there for awhile and after that we went back to the stage area to catch the last group to perform for Day 1 of RWMF 2014 which was Blackbeard's tea Party. I was really excited to watch this group's performance, they sound good just from the name of their band. It sounds like a tea party for pirates. haha
Shot from where I'm standing. Got there a bit late so can't get to the front.
Anyway, here's something about this band. Blackbeard's Tea Party plays funky folk tunes, swashbuckling songs and provide an infectious stage energy. They mix fiddles & squeezeboxes, guitar noise & synth bass, and a feast of international percussion to bring you an unforgettable folk rock extravaganza. They create a sound that is equal parts tasty, dramatic and danceable.
Remember the guy that I said has an amazing t-shirt earlier? He was in this group and he's the red guy in the picture and he wore another cool t-shirt which was an Art Attack tees! LOL. Art Attack is like a childhood tv show for me, if you remember it, cool! I guess you did try to make some papier mache like I did when I was young and man those papier mache things last long, I got one that I'm still using to stores things in it currently. XD
LOOK AT THAT SHIRT! I WANT!! Valar Morgulis. The first thing I notice about him was the GoT tees. So cool.
Very nice performances!
My favourite song of the night! The rhythm and his singing is excellent. Although I can't hear a word of what he is singing. Kinda like a rock song. I like.
Jamboree I'm guessing?
Excellent performances to end an excellent start of Rainforest World Music Festival 2014!
Day 1 done! Stay tune for Day 2 soon! Till next time! :D