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Malaysia Travel Guide

RWMF CLOSES WITH 23,650 FESTIVAL-GOERS

KUCHING – Sarawak’s headliner tourism attraction, the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) has proven that it is more than just a music festival if this year’s sell-out crowd is anything to go by. A capacity crowd of 23,650 from all parts of the world attended the three-day festival.

rainforest world music festival (rwmf) 2019 finale

RWMF performers, musicians with volunteers cheering on the stage during the final night of RWMF 2019 held at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

This year’s nightly concert was artfully arranged in a seamless and flawless sequence. The 2019 line up featured 30 bands and over 200 performers. From the Chilean island of Rapa Nui in the South Eastern Pacific Ocean, Ballet Folcloric De Chile Bafochi showcased their spectacular costumes and sensual dance moves. From the South West Pacific Ocean, Wai from New Zealand gave mesmerizing performances at the Theatre Stage and at the mini sessions throughout the three-day festival.

Five Sarawakian bands, more than any of the years before, were featured this year. At Adau brought their legions of fans who danced along with their vibrant performance, fusing ancient melodies and rhythms of different tribes. Kemada featured traditional Iban music, games and culture while Suku Menoa presented Iban music, rituals and chants. Staak Bisomu provided a glimpse of the Bidayuh cultural heritage and Suk Binie’s performance was an energetic mix of traditional melodies from various ethnic communities of Sarawak. Darmas, from Malaysia, comprising of six young musicians got the crowd dancing to the rhythms of traditional Malay classics.

While the evening concerts draw in the crowd year in and out, this year saw an increase in audience for the afternoon interactive and education workshops. The same goes to the jamming sessions and mini concerts. There were more than 30 mini sessions held at the Iban longhouse, Bidayuh Terraces and Dewan Lagenda. These traditionally designed venues added to the diverse mix of musicians, to create a unique experience of jam sessions for the audience.

rwmf workshop

The diversity of culture and the instruments created at a rwmf workshop is a crowd favourite.

The Emerging Band Stage this year featured nine local bands over the course of the 3-day festival. Their performances were well-received by both local and foreign fesitval goers. Side activities held during the day. The RWMF partners include Friends of Sarawak Museum, Rainforest World Crafts Bazaar and Sarawak Biodiversity Centre.

What About Kuching (WAK) @ RWMF made their debut this year as artists, artisans, poets, sports trainers, and filmmakers from the Kuching community liven up the atmosphere at Damai Central. This multi-purpose recreational complex is located right next to the Sarawak Cultural Village. Certainly, the Sunset Stage was a big draw with a multitude of local bands entertaining the festival goers.

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) intensified their greening initiatives this year. The biggest impact among these iniatives was from discouraging the use of plastic bottled water. An estimated twenty thousand plastic bottles were saved from the rubbish tip. Festival goers brought their own empty bottles which they could fill from water dispensing stations supplied by Cuckoo. For its waste management strategy, STB worked with Trienekens (waste management authority) and partnered with Spativate (a social enterprise) in coming up with eye-catching designs on waste bins. Biji-Biji, an social enterprise, was on hand to make sure waste was collected for composting. STB also continued the tradition of tree planting and this time, the site was at Pantai Puteri, Santubong Village.

cuckoo water refill station rwmf 2019

One of the many water refill stations dotted around festival ground.

rwmf urbins by spativate

Specially designed garbage bins to encourage proper disposal of litter.Twenty two years ago, the RWMF began as a very small gathering of 300 people. Fast forward to 2019, the festival has gained worldwide recognition and won multiple awards. For the three days at least it was a little too easy to forget that there’s a world outside the festival site.

Next year’s edition of the RWMF will be held from July 10 to 12, 2020.

STB is a winner of the Asia Pacific Excellence Awards 2016 by Asia-Pacific Association of Communications Directors (APACD) and has received the ASEAN PR Excellence Award 2015 Gold Award. The Rainforest World Music Festival is a five-time Top 25 Best International Festivals recognised by Songlines World Music Magazine (2011 – 2015) and won the Golden City Gate 2019 five-star award for the Rainforest World Music Festival’s (RWMF) promotional video.

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Malaysia Travel Guide

SPIRIT OF THE HORNBILLS AT RWMF 2019

KUCHING: For the first time ever, Spirit of the Hornbills will bring their vibrant, unique cultural dance to this year Rainforest World Music Festival.

It is a dance academy that teaches Dayak traditional dance, through their unique passion and enthusiasm in dancing, headed by Chief Siti Habibah and Apriyadi as Vice Chief.

The main purpose Spirit of The Hornbill is to conserve Central Kalimantan art and culture to the next future generation.

Siti Habibah and Apriyadi started to teach Dayak traditional dance at an elementary school in Palangka Raya.  This has grown into an intensive training academy where they now teach the younger generation this cultural art form, as their main activities is dance class and music class.

Spirit Of The Hornbill is founded on 19th January 2013 at Palangka Raya, Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia and supported by David Metcalf, a professional photographer from New Zealand, their dream is to conserve Central Kalimantan art and culture for future generations.

The Rainforest in the city (RITC) takes place from July 2 – 11 at Kuching Amphitheatre from 8.00pm till 11.00pm daily, hosted by Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, in collaboration with Sarawak Tourism Board. It is Free and open for public.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.

RWMF2019 SPIRIT OF THE HORNBILLS

For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to https://rwmf.net/

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Malaysia Travel Guide

SAN SALVADOR – THE HYPNOTIC VOCALS WITH OCCITAN POETRY

KUCHING: The iconic Rainforest World Music Festival has spawned new ways of thinking about music of other cultures and indeed music from our own backyard. World music, considering its unique features, over the years, promoted intercultural communication between diverse communities within and beyond Borneo. It is a wonderful opportunity to listen to sounds from all corners of the world and learn about different and unique musical instruments.

Take San Salvador for instance, musicians from Correze in south-western France which is part of the Limousin province. The 6 member band combines Occitan poetry with hypnotic vocal harmonies propelled by surging percussion. Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France, Italy’s Occitan Valleys and in parts of Spain and Monaco. Their music is rooted in the region’s medieval troubadour traditions and yet circulates between different cultures and musical genres and reaching deep into the region’s folk tradition. Their Occitan polyphony and percussion collective with two tom-toms, one tambourine interspersed with rhythmic clapping, exude energy with skillful, sophisticated orchestration.

Trained by Gabriel Durif who leads in vocals and the tambourine, the band members include Eva Durif on vocals, Thibault Chaumeil and Marion Lherbeil on vocals and tom bas, Laure Nonique Desvergnes on vocals and Sylvestre Nonique Desvergnes on  vocals and drums. There is never a dull moment as their music is full of light and shade. Festival goers will be seduced by their whispers of intimacy, subtle alchemy of sweet vocal harmonies and will be swept away by their rhythmic force. The fact that one doesn’t understand the Occitan language does not even matter – the expressiveness and exuberance of these modern day Occitan troubadours overrides everything.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place from July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.

RWMF2019 SAN SALVADOR

For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to https://rwmf.net/

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Malaysia Travel Guide

MACKA B – STAGING THE REGGAE TO RWMF

KUCHING: UK’s most influential dancehall toaster and festival goers can work up a serious sweat during his most anticipated performance – Macka B will be one of the highlights at Rainforest World Music Festival.

A British-born Jamaican reggae artist, performer and activist with a career spanning nearly four decades in the United Kingdom and Jamaica. He also has built a career on his insanely unique delivery and stage presence, with rough and gravely vocals, complete with a voice unline few others on this planet, Macka B instantly indentifiable sound – rich and emotive. Moreover, He has used his music to push dancehall back towards Rastafarian political consciousness, while bringing elements from other branches of the reggae tree like roots, dub and lovers rock.

Jamaica’s music influence has spread throughout the world and almost everyone is familiar with this island’s reggae that is situated in the sub oceanic basin of the western Atlantic Ocean feature African musical elements that formed the basis of Jamaican music.

Dancehall reggae is described as modern Jamaican music and is a sub-genre of reggae. Often referred to as reggae’s rebellious counterpart, dancehall music first emerged as an underground genre attracting large crowds on street corners, thus resembling a dance hall, hence its name.

A Rastafarian with political consciousness, his songs are devoted to spiritual and social messages. He has many songs hit the No. 1 spot on the Reggae charts, won numerous awards and produced albums that display an ability to move between serious and lighter hearted subject matters. Earlier albums like the landmark Sign of the Times (1986) and Looks are Deceiving (1988) are marked by dark political undertones with a constant eye on the struggle and strive of everyday life.

While fans know him for his music with impressive fan base sprouted following his popularity, the currently on-going “Medical Mondays” web series where he shares his ever-growing knowledge of bodily health and veganism that spawned a surprise smash hit when his raps on the health benefits of cucumbers appropriately titled Cucumba went viral, racking up over a million views.

At Rainforest World Music Festival Macka B will take over the DJ set on the After Party Stage on the Friday night.

RWMF2019 MACKA B

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.

For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to https://rwmf.net/

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Malaysia Travel Guide

LA CHIVA GANTIVA AND ANA ALCAIDE IN RWMF 2019

KUCHING: There is no doubt that Latin and music from the Spanish-speaking world is far outpacing many other genres on the world music stage. There has always been a Latin group thrown in the mix at the Rainforest World Music Festival and at the 22nd edition this year there will be two bands – La Chiva Gantiva from Colombia who will provide an insight into their roots with their sensual, upbeat, danceable and contagious music and Ana Alcaide from Spain who fuses traditional sounds from around Europe and the Mediterranean with the cultural mix of her hometown, Toledo, Spain.

La Chiva Gantiva plays music without borders. Genre bending and adventurous, they’ll make you dance with abandonment with their original combination of rock, funk, hip hop and punk with Colombian rhythms, while preserving a jam mentality and multicultural origins.

Known for their live antics and frontman Rafael Espinel’s empathy towards the audience, La Chiva Gantiva are a treat to see live but also an amazing trip around the world when any of their three studio records play at a Colombian party, at a Belgian bar, or at a Mexican radio station.

At the end of the other musical spectrum is Ana Alcaide, a singer, composer and instrumentalist from Toledo, Spain. Her prime instrument is the nyckelharpa which she came across while studying in Sweden.

Rooted in ancient traditions yet resolutely modern, her compositions deftly blend musical styles from different cultures. From the inspirational backdrop of the city of Toledo, Ana writes and produces her songs, creates new arrangements and adapts the nyckelharpa to ancient melodies that originated in medieval Spain and have travelled throughout the Mediterranean region. But her personal and artistic evolution leads her to conquer new creative fields in the recent years.

In 2016, her fifth album Leyenda reached Top 10 in the WMCE (World Music Charts Europe) as well as on the Transglobal World Music Charts. Leyenda was also on the top of some of the International radios around Australia, Canada, UK, USA and Europe. The album has received reviews from professional critics around the world including Songlines Magazine which awarded Leyenda a 5 Star Review, Top of the World.

Alcaide has presented her music in some of the most important festivals, theatres and venues around Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Germany, Morocco, Canada, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Switzerland, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Uruguay, and has performed in more than 500 concerts in 4 continents.

Since 2016 she is the Artistic Director of the ‘Toledo World Music Festival’.

The Rainforest World Music Festival takes place on July 12-14 at the Sarawak Cultural Village and is organised by the Sarawak Tourism Board, endorsed by Tourism Malaysia and is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth Sports Sarawak.

LA CHIVA GANTIVA

ANA ALCAIDE - Photo by Ander Olaizola

For further information on tickets, festival activities and logistics, please log on to https://rwmf.net/

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