Over 200 sape musicians to set new record at 'Citrawarna Keluarga Malaysia 2022'

26/02/2022 07:50 PM

By Zaphne Philip

KUCHING, Feb 25  -- The traditional lute of the Orang Ulu community known as 'sape' will take centre stage on the closing night of Citrawarna Keluarga Malaysia 2022, this Sunday where 250 sape players will set a new record in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR).

Sape teacher, Elizabeth Bungan, 32, who is also the founder of Culture Meet studio which runs the traditional musical instrument class, said 250 sape musicians from all over Malaysia will perform simultaneously for five minutes at Kuching Waterfront here.

"This is the second attempt for an MBOR record with an increase in the number of players to 250 from 207 players when the record was first set in Miri in 2017," she said when met by Bernama during a training session here today.

She said the musicians came from various ethnic backgrounds who shared an interest in playing the instrument and upholding Sarawak traditional music.

During the training, she said the sape players were divided into several small groups where each session was limited to 50 players only in addition to having to take the COVID-19 test before participating.

Elizabeth said they only held a face-to-face training session for three days before the big day. Although the training session was very short, with the cooperation of all, she was confident that a new MBOR record could be achieved.

"Actually we started training online in December last year, but on a small scale," she said.

Elizabeth or better known as Eli who is half Kenyah and half Beketan started her career as a professional sape player in 2016 after performing at the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).

She became known to many when she began uploading her sape playing sessions on social media sites, especially Facebook.  

Apart from being invited to perform at official functions, Elizabeth has also performed alongside two famous Sarawak sape icons, Jerry Kamit and Alena Murang at RWMF 2019.