PENANG, MALAYSIA: The World Music Festival is back in town and the performing bands are promising revellers 'sounds they have never heard before.'
Kicking off tonight at the Quarry Gardens at the Penang Botanic Gardens, the three-day event is set to awe music fans again, featuring multicultural 'ensembles' from Malaysia, Australia, United States, Mexico, Denmark, Reunion Islands, Ireland, Iran, India, France, Canada, Croatia, Tibet and Kenya.
Opening the festival tonight will be Penang-Australian band Dya Singh, which will start the show 'spiritually,' serenading the crowd with Sikh music and hymns.
"It is all about spirit, dance and rhythmic energy. We will be singing kawali (powerful rhythmic singing) and introducing the Australian Aborigine wind instrument, the didgeridoo," said Dya Singh's tabla player Dheeraj Shrestha at the festival's media preview here yesterday.
Malaysia's band Kumpulan Dendang Anak from Terengganu will enchant the crowd with a unique blend of music that incorporates Javanese, Sumatran, Indian, Chinese and Arabic sounds plus folk music.
"This music is 600 to 700 years old," said band leader Zulkifle Ismail.
On Saturday, powerful performances are expected from bands like the Diplomats of Drum from Kuala Lumpur and nature-inspired Croatian ethno-rock band Kries.
On the closing night, revellers shall be moved by music of freedom by Tibetan band Techung and can sway to the energetic dance music of Kenya's Kenge Kenge.
As parking lots are limited at the Botanic Gardens, the public are advised to take the free shuttle bus services to get to the concert. The bus services are available every 30 minutes from 5.30pm to 8.30pm on the three nights.
Three buses will be picking up passengers at Komtar's CIMB Bank, the ferry terminal and the Pesta site at Sungai Nibong and will leave the Gardens from 10.30pm to 1.30am.