Indigenous music honoured at the opening of George Town Festival

The seventh edition of the annual George Town Festival (GTF) opened last night with a concert which paid tribute to the land and indigenous music of the region. The Svara Bhumi (Songs of the Earth) concert at Dewan Sri Pinang was performed to a full house where Yang diPertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas, state officials, members of the diplomatic corps and other guests were treated to a global music feast featuring indigenous musicians from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Australia’s leading aboriginal band – the Black Arm Band – performed along with New Zealander Ria Hall, Indonesian singer Ayu Laksmi, Malaysia’s Alena Murang and performers from one of eighteen Orang Asli tribes – the Mah Meri – from Carey Island in Selangor. The event will also be held tonight.
In taking forward the initiative of GTF director Joe Sidek to make the arts accessible to all, the festival this year has launched ‘Arts for Humanity’ which is a programme which seeks global support for the arts. “To kickstart this initiative,” Joe said, “GTF is holding a series of talks, the first of which is Stories, Humanities and What About The Arts? today.”
Co-founder of the legendary Burning Man Festival Larry Harvy and acclaimed Cambodian filmmaker Rithy Panh will speak about their life journeys and artistic experiences at the event held at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel.

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