“We shall pour you wisdom with our words. Do not forget the knowledge of the ancestors. It will be a shame if they disappear. And that is why I sing this song with my elders. And that is why I am following their footsteps. Lest we forget.“
Adrian Jo Milang, a talent represented by The Tuyang Initiative, and is currently the youngest practitioner of the ancient and dying Kayan oral tradition of the Parap and Takna’ (poetic storytelling), collaborates with Dr Corrina Bonshek (an award-winning Australian composer trained by composers with a deep and enduring connection to Asia), iconic Australian percussionist Michael Askill, Persian violinist Greta Kelly (Australia), gong players from Sarawak & Kuala Lumpur (including Souls Impact Percussion), and Tukang Habe (traditional Kayan chorus members) presented Song to the Earth – a magical, immersive live music event.
This performance was co-produced by The Tuyang Initiative.
Here are some teaser photos surrounding the rehearsals and performances on 11 & 12 July 2019 at The Old Court House, Kuching (Sarawak, Malaysia):
Music Composition & Artistic Direction: Dr Corrina Bonshek
Parap Composition: Adrian Jo Milang
Performers (Australia): Dr Michael Askill, Greta Kelly
Performers (Sarawak): Tukang Parap – Adrian Jo Milang, Tukang Habe (Chorus) – Anye Emut, Hulo Laing, Ukong Mering, Gong Players – Ashly Nandong, Inochi Austin, Abednego Sherrif
Performers (Kuala Lumpur): Souls Impact Percussion – Chin Chun Ket, Zac Tan & Tiong Jun Ying
Producers: Corrina Bonshek, Juvita Tatan Wan (The Tuyang Initiative)
The Tuyang Initiative is representation for Adrian Jo Milang, Tukang Habe and Gong Players from Sarawak.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts and funding and advisory body. It is also supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and the City of Gold Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.
Song to the Earth was originally co-commissioned by City of Gold Coast, Bleach*Festival and the Queensland Government through the Regional Arts Development Fund and the Office of the Commonwealth Games and other funding sources, and had first stage creative development as part of Inherit the Wind, a collaborative and community engaged performance project directed and produced by Meredith Elton.