“One thing good about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain” – Bob Marley
That is how I felt exactly in the words of the reggae legend. The Rainforest World Music Festival 2011 was simply amazing. With music from all around the world, it was a mix of traditional and modern sounds all mashed to create the perfect ambience. This was my first trip to the festival but I must say the atmosphere was simply electrifying.
There were bands from Italy, Iran, Dominican Republic, Australia, Mexico, Vanuatu, UK , USA and many more. For a first timer like me, the music was simply amazing and you have to be there to experience something like that.
One of the most unique performances were the Leweton Women’s Water Music. The group of 6 ladies created beautiful music using their bare hands by tapping and clapping on the surface of the water. A short excerpt on them : “From the remote, northern tropical islands of Vanuatu, comes an extremely unique and rarely seen tradition, called water music. Dressed in traditional costumes of flowers and leaves, a small number of women wade into the water up to their waist, stand in the shape of a half moon and begin to play. The water is beaten in rhythmic dance of bodies and waves. The water itself is the instrument producing a wide range of sounds in intoxicating rhythms, with pieces titled “The Sound of Thunder”, “Big Whale Fish Playing With Small Whale Fish”, “Waves Breaking on the Reef”. This will be a rare glimpse into an ancient but living tradition.”
Another power house was Kissmet from UK. This bhangra infused rock style music were the closing band on the last day. They were just a band that brings the rhythm and the beats to the hearts of the people. Well, these are some pictures from the festival that I captured.
In conclusion the festival is something everyone must experience at least once in their life. Many would say that world music is not their cup of tea but to feel the sheer presence of traditional and modern music coming together is something extraordinary. Be it bluegrass or the sounds of the Sarawak ‘sape’ , the festival is something that I am looking forward to go to next year.