Nature Tribute at Rainforest World Music Festival 2015

Nature lovers can look forward to songs being sung and music being played that are dedicated to elements of nature. How apt, since the setting is by the rainforest of Santubong in Sarawak. By Mallika Naguran

Damai, 7 August 2015. The three-day Rainforest World Music Festival begins today and Sarawak Cultural Village expects a crowd of more than 20,000. This year features 22 bands from every continent and 33 workshops (including children’s literature session). I asked some performers to share how nature is celebrated through their music and song, and this is what a few had to say.

Son de Madera – Mexico

“Our songs are about sailors, about fishing, and the compilation about the moon, animals and more. Mamathal is a special song about a root. It tells the story of how we have not cared for earth, and that we are losing nature, so we have to start to protect it. Of late there’s been too much rain in the South of Mexico. Nature needs care from humans.” Natalia

 Matthew, Lan E Tuyang, is a well-known Sarawakian sape player.Lan E Tuyang – Sarawak

Matthew, Lan E Tuyang, is a well-known Sarawakian sape player.Lan E Tuyang – Sarawak

We are called “orang asli” or indigenous people. Although we are small in the jungle, we exist. Through our songs we show ourselves to the world.

All our songs are about nature, since we live in the jungle. But there’s one particular song that I’d like to share with you. “Titek titek kena hujan” is a song that we composed with the sape, and we played it during a drought season in New Mexico. Would you believe it that after two hours of playing, there was a thunderstorm!” Mathew

Lindigo – Reunion Island

“Our Maloya music celebrates nature. Here we are in the rainforest, we live in the big forest, where we take all the medicine & all things that we need to eat and to live, it seems like we live in the big forest of the world. Our forest is our force.” Olivier, who then proceeds to sing a song that calls on the spirits of the forest.

Driss El Maloumi - Morocco

"There’s a Moroccon instrument that has four strings – representing the four elements of nature: earth, wind, fire and water. The message is to protect the beauty of earth." Driss El Maloumi

 Diaman, maker of the wooden guardian mask, and performer with Mah Meri.Mah Meri – Malaysia

Diaman, maker of the wooden guardian mask, and performer with Mah Meri.Mah Meri – Malaysia

“Our culture is similar to that of Congo’s pygmies aka, with a population of just around  4,000 people. Both believe in spirits. Mah meri which means jungle, celebrates the spirit of the forests within animism.  Wood carvings of ferocious faces spell messages of protection of humans. The afternoon workshop will feature flowers of the spirits. Ancient rites and folklore are demonstrated at this festival, to uphold their tradition of the community in Carey Island.” Rashid

 

 Performers of Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 at the first press conference.

Performers of Rainforest World Music Festival 2015 at the first press conference.