Friday, July 15, 2011

14th Rainforest World Music Festival, July 8-10, Kuching. Sarawak, Malaysia

The recently-concluded 14th Rainforest World Music Festival held over the weekend from July 8-10 saw yet another resoundingly successful celebration of contemporary and traditional world music. With the imposing Mount Santubong in the background, and in the midst of a virgin rainforest at the edge of the South China Sea, the music festival is just an hour's drive away from Kuching.

The Sape, Sarawak's own musical instrument, was scheduled as the opening act at this year's festival. Music lovers also had the chance to meet the Sape musicians up-close at the daily Musical Workshop held at the Sarawak Cultural Village. The Sape was how the Rainforest World Music Festival all began.
RWMF - where people regardless of ethnicity, cultural backgrounds, music interests come together - has been voted for the second consecutive year among the Top 25 Best International Festivals by renowned world music magazine, Songlines, elevating its status in the international music scene as a festival which has well and truly put Sarawak on the world tourism map and extending its appeal to shores further from neighbouring countries.

One group of musicians who wowed the crowd was the Leweton Women from Vanuatu, an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean.
Hailing from the remote northern islands of Vanuatu, the Leweton Women group, first time performing outside their country, was the most fascinating act at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) held last weekend at the Sarawak Cultural Village.

Visitors to the RWMF were completely amazed by the water music. For obvious reasons, the Leweton Women couldn’t perform onstage during the evening concerts, so they presented two 15-minute slots every day in between the afternoon workshops, playing in the lake at the centre of the Cultural Village.

Spectators crowded the lakeside to catch the performance, as in the video below, and many were heard asking whether drums were positioned underwater, or a recording was being used, to produce such strong percussive sounds.

Here's another video shot at the hotel pool.

The 14th Rainforest World Music Festival ended on a high note with a grand finale which left many festival goers vowing to return for next year’s festival. Will you be there?

- RWMF website
- The Star
- Wikipedia
- You Tube


  1. oh, this looks interesting.. i saw couple of photos from friends in FB, but not as good as the ones you showed here with the mother nature.. interesting!! :)

  2. Fascinating!

    Man...what I wouldn't give to be able to see an event like that!

  3. never been to east msia before also :/

  4. SK, thanks. If you go to the RWMF website, you'll see more pictures and information.

    MM, I can imagine the atmosphere there. Make a date for next year?

    Ken, with AirAsia, going to East Malaysia is like taking a bus now. No?