Indigenous music performance by well-known sape player

Alena Murang

KUCHING: The indigenous music of the Kelabit and Kenyah was showcased in the ‘Live Evening Virtual Performance by Sape Artist Alena Murang’ event recently.

Students and staff from Kanda University of International Studies, Japan; Hoseo University, Korea; as well as participants from the fourth International Conference on Management and Entrepreneurship tuned in to the Zoom event organised by Swinburne Sarawak’s School of Design and Arts.

“Alena, who is of Kelabit and English-Italian descent, is the first female professional sape musician in Malaysia.

“She has performed at various music festivals around the world, and her music video ‘Warrior Spirit’ won the Best Costume Honourable Mention and, Best Asia and Pacific Music Video at the International Music Video Awards UK in July this year,” said a spokesperson for the event.

Alena performed a few of her songs such as Pemung Jae’, Lan E Tuyang, Re Lekuah, Midang Midang, Meno’, Gitu’an and Liling.

“There was also a ‘Get to Know’ session with Alena where the participants had the opportunity to interact with her. Concluding her performance, Alena remarked that as creators, they honour their heritage of the past and their contemporary selves through music, films and fashion, in addition to using digital platforms to showcase the art and culture to the world.”

On another note,  Swinburne students from the Bachelor of Design (Multimedia Design) and Bachelor of Design with majors in Graphic Design programmes have won various local and international competitions since 2014.

“Their achievements included awards from Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak Digital Pre-Accelerator programme; Top 10 App Malaysia; Microsoft Imagine Cup at National, Regional and World Finals in Seattle, USA; Southeast Asia  Games Award; Casual Connect Singapore; and the recent Adobe Certified Associate  Championship where the students will represent Malaysia in the Adobe Certified Associate World Championships later this year.”