Sometimes i’m not sure why we still do it, why i still push others around me to do it. But what I do know is we have to start somewhere.
In the many years as a performer, the opportunity to perform in a show in Singapore is available, if you’re willing. But staging a show, your own show in Singapore is indeed a challenging one. I wish to share my little experience with you out there.
In 2011, my partner, Yaziz Hassan and i decided to dive into building a one-of-a kind ensemble that focuses on the performance of Malay drums and percussions. Nadi Singapura Ltd was born out of (what we felt) a neccessity, desire and love. To generate a renewed interest and to ensure the visibility of these musical styles outside of its regular settings (weddings,competitions,events etc).
We go on creating original compositions -response to our surroundings, inspired by our traditional rhythms and music and present it stylistically combining movement and voice as part of our performances. To date we have launch 2 albums, in 2014 – Kata Kita Kota and in 2018 – Bumi Tak Diam. Both albums (the songs) have served us well and have brought us on stage regularly,even around the globe. Thankful and blessed.
Since our formation and the grant support from National Arts Council, we have produced annual free programs and performances such as Himpunan Serumpun (Collaboration between different Malay Traditional Performing Artist/Ensembles), Yok Sembang Gendang! (Malay Percussion Workshops with Guest Facilitators) and Singa Drum Gaia (World Drums and Percussions festival highlighting various Singapore’s drumming ensemble, individual and pioneers). All of which are well received and encouraging amount of attendees.
To push our internal management, artistic and musical ability, we regularly attend courses and masterclasses to ensure never-ending learning within the team.
With the knowledge earned, we specially produce several drumming centric show/concert. In 2013 – Journey Of The Pulse, with a restage on 2014. In 2016 we did Journey 2:The Pulse, with another restage 2017. We grow from about 200 seating capacity in Esplanade Recital Studio to ITE IlluminITE theatre, and even Drama Centre 600 sitting capacity. With almost a full turnout in every show. Thankful and blessed.
Through the interactions in the area of Malay traditional arts sphere and the global arts community, we continue to contribute and produce artistic works as a trio, a band, an ensemble and even as an individual. We’ve also supported and partake in fellow practitioners productions and events. Most of the feedbacks and observations are similar – Free shows = High or Max attendees, Ticketed shows = 60-70% May be not. we really hope we can change that.
This Saturday, 15 Dec 2018 will be the showcase of a new work that got me started since 2014. We will be presenting our original music based on the script, Faith in Fatih prepared by Zulfadli Rashid (Supported by Esplanade). It’s an honor and a big priviledge to present you our first Nadi Singapura’s Malay Drum Orchestra. “The Tell-A-Tale of Faith In Fatih”, live in Gateway Theatre (900+ seating capacity!) yes, we shall keep pushing!
I urge you to get your chance to witness this. It might be different from our usual productions, but we’re sure to play our hearts out for you. Tickets $20 and $25 still available here.
I’m writing this because I wish that people/the community be informed of the growth, the effort and sacrifices that have been collectively put in to present a piece of work. And i strongly believe that the only way we can move forward, is with you, your support!
It also means a lot for me to see the smile on each of Nadi Singapura’s members (active or inactive). Our mainstream media support and marketing efforts may be small but I do hope for a bigger outreach with your support. Spread the word, share your experiences about our shows. Help keep the pulse beating. My sincere thanks.
Ps – If you do know of any children/youth who is interested but cannot afford the tickets,pls PM me. I would love to have them around. Thank you!
Image copyright of Nadi Singapura.
Photo credit: Aaron Ong