Into The Jungle Of Sound
Now entering its second edition, the Borneo World Music Expo in all its colourful splendour is set to captivate audiences from around the world this June 16th – 18th, 2014. Set in lush tropical Sarawak, Malaysia, the expo brings together venues, programmers and artists for three days of conferences, workshops, a trade fair and evening showcase performances that will be open to the public at the Hilton Kuching Hotel, Sarawak, Malaysia. Under the directorship of Gerald Seligman, the expo aims at providing exposure and links between South East Asian ethnic musicians and the international market.
The showcase performances this year will place more of a focus on traditional and acoustic music, while the conferences and panel discussions that run through the day will have an emphasis on practical knowledge of entering local and international markets. The panel titled “New Asian Networks and Local Markets: Who They Are, How They Work, and How to Approach Them” will see EarthSync’s Sonya Mazumdar, Carla Bakker (AWME, Australia), Jung Hun Lee (Ulsan World Music Festival/APaMM, South Korea), Jae Jin In (GWMF, South Korea), Jun Lin Yeoh (RWMF, Malaysia), and Xiang Hui Tan (Esplanade, Singapore) as panelists, moderated by Divya Bhatia of RIFF, Jodhpur.
Artists who will be showcasing at this year’s BWME include the Aye Su Kyaw Ensemble from Myanmar — an ensemble that blends classical Burmese dance and music, featuring vocalist/harpist Aye Su Kyaw; Korphai from Thailand, a renowned Thai troupe that explores classical Thai traditions and folk songs, as well as cross-over genres like fusion jazz and folk-pop; Geng Wak Long from Malaysia, who perform Kelantan music, a form of traditional Malay music; and from Rajasthan, the Barmer Boys — the next generation of the traditional Manganiyar musical tradition who are signed onto Amarrass Records, an Indian/US based independent DIY aesthetic record label, artist management company and festival organiser.
“Barmer Boys are thrilled to be the opening showcase at BWME,” says Ankur Malhotra, co-founder of Amarrass Records. “We will present a mix of songs from our debut album (At Home: Barmer Boys) and forthcoming release on Amarrass Records, including traditional Sufi kalaams, the music of our desert roots, and contemporary folk songs. We always keep a surprise for the audience, that is sure to have them dancing. We are also glad to see the emergence of new spaces and platforms such as BWME that enable us to showcase the superb diversity in our music and art, and share it with the world.”
The depths of the Borneo jungle will play host to the next musical extravaganza — the Rainforest World Music Festival, taking place immediately after BWME from June 20th – 22nd, and featuring renowned acts from different continents as well as indigenous music from Borneo. The festival also features ethno-musical lectures, workshops, jam sessions, and evening showcases from artists that cover a colourful palette of genres, sounds and styles. Blackbeard’s Tea Party from England will take to the stage with their swashbuckling renditions of funky folk rock; Kalakan from Spain will perform traditional repertoire of Basque songs; Son Yambu from Cuba will set the stage on fire with a red hot rhythms of Son Cubano — Afro-Cuban music from the streets of Eastern Cuba; Yayasan Warisan Johore will pay homage to traditional Malay cultural heritage with traditional zapin music and dance, accompanied by the gambus, violin, oud, and traditional drums.
A truly global spectacle that brings the finest of roots and folk talent from all across the globe, all to one stage.