On Sunday, August 6, a musical performance for the benefit of Persatuan Pembangunan Pendidikan Kanak-Kanak Istimewa Ipoh was staged by the Ipoh Fine Arts Society. The performance titled, ‘Rhythms of the Rainbow’ featured AkashA, a 7-piece world fusion music band. It was held at Syeun Hotel, Ipoh.
The show, which began at 8pm, was divided into two intervals, presenting a fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian, African, Cuban jazz music and more. Over 500 guests filled the ballroom. They were mesmerised by such riveting acoustics.
“The last time we performed in Ipoh was about six years ago. It’s a whole new experience coming back here to play,” said Kumar Karthigesu.
‘Akasha’ means space, indicating physical space where dharmas and phenomena exist. The band consists of seven musicians, namely, Badar Fawzi Ben Taleb (percussions), Kumar Karthigesu (sitar), Mohd Nizam Azis (various percussions), Greg Henderson (bass), Arab Saladin (composer/guitarist), Vick Ramakrishnan (percussions/tabla) and Eric Li (piano/keyboard).
“We call ourselves Malaysians because that’s who we really are. Our first performance together was at the annual Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak back in 2008,” continued Kumar.
One of the tunes they played was ‘Qawwali’, a form of Sufi music. It signifies love, devotion and longing. Another tune was also called ‘Ipoh Hor Fun’, a well-known local dish. The title was derived from their last trip to Ipoh.
“Our ideas and sounds are inspired by our travels. Each country has its own story. We’ve even performed at the National Arts Festival in South Africa. Coincidentally, it was held about the same time as FIFA World Cup 2010, so we got to witness the finals,” Kumar added.
AkashA has won local and international awards, making Malaysia proud. Their vibrant music, accompanied by visual backdrops, grabbed the hearts of every guest present. It was like going through a two-hour journey. It is not a surprise why they are very well-known worldwide.