Photo gallery from the Rainforest World Music Festival, Part II - how musicians help you think out of the box!


In earlier posts, we brought you some photographs of digital product innovations from the annual Communicasia conference in Singapore and creative handicrafts at the Sampoorn Santhe 2014 (arts fair) in Bangalore. In this second showcase on the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, we feature more of the outstanding artistes and unusual instruments (see the first showcase here). Make YourStory’s PhotoSparks your regular source of photographs that celebrate creativity and innovation!

Local roots, global appeal

The cajon from South America, djembe from Africa and didgeridoo from Australia have travelled far and wide from their home bases and are used by fusion bands around the world. The Indonesian band Manjalin Raso played an extensible version of the didgeridoo, with electronic amplification. It is a wind instrument or drone pipe developed by the indigenous aboriginal Australians around 1,500 years ago; it is played with a circular breathing technique.

Ornamentation or instrument?

Maori instrumentalist and composer Horomona Horo showcased the unique instruments, sounds and techniques of the taongapuoro community in New Zealand. Each instrument has a specific use within rites of passage, storytelling and daily life of the Maori peoples. One of the instruments is the tiny koauau horn, stuck in Horo’s pierced ear as shown in the photo! It is made of wood or bone, and has three to six fingerholes; playing it is meant to evoke feelings of romance.

Japan’s Shigeri Kitsu: woman power on drums!

Japanese trio Ryuz had the audience spellbound with an indoor set of ‘folk extracts blended with contemporary music.’ Shigeri Kitsu was outstanding with high-power drumming on taiko along with equally high-power vocals; she was accompanied by shamisen player Nobuto Yamanaka and Kazuki Kunihiro on vocals and snare drum. In a chat later, the band manager explained that it is unusual to have female drummers in Japan. For that matter, why are there so few women on drums and percussion styles around the world, from tabla to timbales?

Musical expression in times of grief

The launch of the album Nisa Addina featured in the formal kickoff to the Festival, by the talented teenage violinist Yakina from Sarawak. The haunting closing track, Pray for Me, was dedicated to the victims of the missing airliner MH 370 and their families. The brilliant performance and video backdrops of grieving families brought tears to the eyes of the audience. Talented musicians turn even sorrow into creativity and appeals to the human conscience.

Tattoos galore!

With roots from the Polynesian islands, tattoos traditionally served as symbols of devotion, rank, religion, fertility or protection. Today it has also become a form of creative art and expression, ranging from words and images to artwork and even activist messages. The Rainforest World Music Festival too had its share of tattoo booths and artists. After all, the audience at a festival can also be a source of entertainment and creativity in addition to the performers themselves! What’s a good festival without some tattoos?

Up next:

July 12: Creativity at work in a Hackathon!

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