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? 😉