Voices of Papua – Mataniari Toba Batak Music Ensemble – Saluang Dedang
Voices from Papua : A selection from Papua’s incredible cultural diversity
Lanny Yago, La Pago region
These shrieking songs are the traditional start to a ceremony in the mountains of Papua. The words in Nopasewa are intended to welcome members of the upper class, such as chiefs, senior officials, regents and governors. The parts in Nanggorwah are addressed to the common people.
Serui, Saereri region
Aimunabai is the traditional song of the Yapen, through which the stories of the forefathers are told.
Biak, Saereri region
Kankarem songs are a way of expressing social identity in the Biak culture.
Mataniari Toba Batak Music Ensemble
Batak is the collective name for the six ethnic groups which live around the vast Toba Lake in North Sumatra. They share a name and a region, but are very diverse, each with their own identity, culture and even language. These differences become very clear in their instrumental music, which is referred to as gondang by the Toba, gendang by the Karo and gonrang by the Simalungun– all three mean ‘drum’. This music is performed outdoors and is a combination of percussion and gongs with woodwind. The rhythmic structure of the gondang is considered to be one of the most complex in the whole of South East Asia. In the Batak region the Marsius brothers (kings of the sulim bamboo flute) and Sarikawan Sitohang (king of the hasapi lute) are known for the virtuosity and depth of their play. They have recorded around ten albums and toured the world with their music.
Wayang Hip-Hop is a contemporary form of the classic Javanese Wayang Kulit shadow theatre, based on the traditional comical interlude, or gara-gara, and contemporary music. The goal is to preserve this exceptional tradition for a young audience and to further develop it through a mix of creativity, humour and music styles such as hiphop, rap and dangdut.