The 15th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) has ended, but apart from the fact that the Festival was (and always is) AWESOME – see and listen for yourself:
Video source-superadrianme1 : intro by Le Trio Joubran followed by Danyel Waro playing the kayanm/kayamb or as I described it – “winnowing“ ;) , Diplomats of Drum, Le Trio Joubran playing the oud, the String Sisters, Khusugtun‘s throat-singing, Raiz de Cafezal, Cankisou, Mamadou Diabate’s Percussion Mania, Kanda Bongo Man and ending with the Finale!
- it’s also the experience and memories made there that make people come back year after year.
I had expectations (and for the record, every single one was met! ), but personally, it’s the unexpected that made the sweetest of memories!
Like when meeting new people and they end up being good friends:
(L-R) Fiqah, Fatimah, me [Photo c/o Ben]
The @SWKBLOGS media team! I know who to look for the next time I’m in Kuching!
Or bumping into/meeting old friends you hadn’t seen in a while, mainly by chance:
Fab & Domi
I was at RWMF with Fab 4 years ago, and it was good to see him again on Day 2. Apparently, he has never missed a single RWMF for something like a decade! WOW! Au contraire, this was the first time for his friend whom I just met, who was involved in the Capoeira Workshop.
Other first-timers included:
My own sis-in-law (and bro who took this photo)
And Ben, who went with me this year:
By the looks of it…
…it won’t be his last either.
There were a few others like my ex-colleague, friends from Brunei and friends-that-are-practically-family, but I forgot to snap a photo with them. Heh.
But the most unexpected and most memorable experience happened on Day 3.
I had just arrived at the Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) and was waiting in the performers’/media van to take me to One Hotel Santubong (OHS). A few minutes later, a performer climbed into the van and he sat beside me. It was a Hey-I-Just-Met-You moment.
As the van brought us the short distance to OHS, I managed an unofficial interview with him. I was gushing about how talented a sape player he was and he was very humble about it. He shared how “someone” had brought a sape back to the States and how he had learned to play it and that it is not played like a guitar and that these instruments should not be played as if they were one and the same. Care to guess who he was?
Meet David – incredible sape player and Zee Avi‘s bandmate!
And he was so kind to introduce me to the “someone” who had brought a sape back to the States - Zee Avi herself!
As you probably know already from Day 1, I really enjoyed their performance so it was quite an honour to meet her in person. Fondly referred to as Zee, this Mirian singer-songwriter, guitarist & ukelele player is a Sarawakian treasure, putting Malaysia (and especially Sarawak) on the musical map – all the way from the United States where she is based.
Zee & her “sapelele” (sape-designed ukelele)
Apart from a photo with her, I also got her autograph.
And if that ain’t enough, I was even able to chat with her for a bit – she’s such a sweet lady!
Prior to the RWMF, she was in Miri for a Homecoming Concert but before that she said she’d been away for 13 years!
Zee Avi & JC, her bass player
Those few minutes spent with her was priceless.
“Balit sitok gik kelak. Iboh tunggu 13 tahun…” I said as I left her to enjoy her privacy.
*in the local Sarawak Malay language, meaning, “Do come back again. Don’t wait for 13 years…”
While going for all 3 days was nothing impossible in itself, the media pass really opened up a whole new side of the Festival for me.
Perks of the “job” – I LIKE!
Too bad I wasn’t able to claim the free drinks from Day 1
Then I’d get 3 of these instead, but 2 is cool.
The only photo taken inside the Heinekebana apparently.
For a more in-depth coverage of the 3 days (and a behind the scenes look), do check out my RWMF 2012 series of posts and for videos, do drop by my youtube channel. Last but not least, here’s a photo that I think says a lot about the spirit of the RWMF:
Photo source: Travillion’s FB compilation album
RWMF 2013 anyone?