MUSIC FROM BORNEO
Alena has learnt the traditional music of the Kelabit and Kenyah people of Borneo since the age of six. A protégé of Mathew Ngau Jau, she plays the sape’, which is a lute instrument from Borneo traditionally only played by men. She also sings old Kelabit chants and love songs, and dances. Apart from solo performances, she has been part of World Music bands Anak Adi’ Rurum Kelabit, Ka’nid and Diplomats of Drum; and is currently part of the KL Sape' Collective, Small Island Big Song, Lan E Tuyang and Ilu Leto. Besides performing, Alena also conducts workshops and talks about the indigenous music and dance that she knows. Her past performances and sessions can be found HERE.
"Crowds were mesmerized with the elegant sound of "sape", a traditional Sarawakian 4-stringed guitar, played by Alena Murang."
- Georgia Asian Times, 2014
7 - 8 Feb 20 | Taichung, TAIWAN
Taiwan Lantern Festival
29 Feb - 5 March 2020 | PANAMA
Tribal Gathering Festival
22March 2020 | KL, MALAYSIA
St Patrick's Day Festival
10-12 July 2020 | Kuching, MALAYSIA
Rainforest World Music Festival
ALENA MURANG'S DEBUT EP
Released in August 2016, the EP, titled “Flight”, is a representation of three Kenyah folksongs and two Kelabit songs. Producer, Josh Maran (of PepperJam Productions), is Alena’s cousin, and is also part Kelabit. Together they share their interpretation of the songs.
"What sets Flight apart from many previous attempts to create an ethnic fusion sound is its impeccable taste and confident musicality. It never attempts to pander to popular taste, thereby destroying the innocence of these folksongs; nor does it lack in authentic passion and verve."
- Esentrika Magazine, 2016
Kelas Sape’ KL was initiated in March 2015. These are focused on traditional Kenyah and Kelabit tunes and folksongs. Classes are ad-hoc, drop a message to enquire.
The Hornbill Dance (or ngarang in Kelabit) is a graceful female dance of the upper Baram people. It used to be danced when men brought back the heads of their enemies. Nowadays the ngarang is danced during any celebration. Classes are ad-hoc, drop a message to enquire.
"My heart swells with pride to know that someone of my generation is working towards keeping Sarawak's traditions, art and music alive. It's apparent that Alena has made such an impact on her students who are also as wonderful and receptive to want to learn and play traditional folk songs and instrument."
- Zee Avi
Alena Murang plays in four bands: