One of the things I sometimes miss while travelling is enjoying music. Of course, as long as there is a proper internet connection listening music via headphone is no problem but I miss the atmosphere when the sound is coming from big loudspeakers and you share the experience with lots of other people.
So, we are happy to join the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak, Borneo. One of the most famous music events all over Asia. It’s maybe not that kind of music we are usually enthusiastic about, so don’t expect electronic or independent indie stuff, but still it’s going to be fun. Three days are filled with workshops and traditional music performances from artists all over the world at Sarawak’s cultural village surrounded by an amazing landscape. Friday afternoon starts with Irish stepdance workshop. You know, these kind of dancing we also sometimes smiled about. But really, it’s hard work and professionals need to be very fit. Together with more than 50 other people we learn different step sequences and its fun. The following mediation workshop, guided by a Malaysian guy with Indian roots, is a welcoming relaxing possibility. Music performances start in the evening. One highlight is an Indonesian drummer group called “Dol Arastra Bengkulu” that sets the crowd on fire. Powerful guys making some noise and an amazing performance with huge drums.
The next day starts with an “Abhinaya” workshop about facial expression in classical Indian art and how to do it. It’s about showing emotions like anger, sadness, love, fear and so on, as we already know it from Indian soap operas. Here a Youtube link, https://youtu.be/-N8jxjuka4I. As it seems very overdriven for us it’s still a lot of fun to imitate it. Afterwards we do some painting on the tree of life wall, sponsored and organized by the Pustaka Bookaroo, an Indian and Malaysian organization bringing children and books together. In the evening artist from Malaysia, China, Australia, Greece, Ghana and Cuba are performing. An impressive diversity of music styles, instruments and voices. Before joining the concert we spend some time at the nearby beach and take a look at the Borneo Tattoo Convention close to the Music Festival place for some more impressions. It seems I’m getting more and more closer to realization after thinking about having a tattoo since more than 15 years now. Traditional tribal people of Borneo believe that in the moment of death everything turns into black and white and if you don’t have a tattoo the gods cannot see you to guide you to their empire. That’s the killing argument, isn’t it? 😉
And than it’s already the last festival day. We learn about Wushu, traditional Chinese martial arts and join the acapella voice performances of different artists. The last workshop “Mongolian magic” is turning into one of our highlights. Unbelievable, what this guy is able of. His voice is amazing, turning from high and clear to dark, loud and deep. Besides he shows the people how to do overtone singing and Seven seems to be quite talented. The performance of that guy and his bandmates, the Violin Barbares, in the evening is great too.
The Music Festival is over now and it’s also time to say goodbye to our lovely hosts at ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Concoiusness) Kuching. Thank you so much for sharing your place, delicious food and all your kindness with us!