Month: August 2015
Who would’ve thought that a simple evening listening to a talk on patriotic songs would evoke strong emotions of love, respect and pride for my country? I personally never thought I’d feel this way.
I was part of the audience of about 50 guests who attended Datin Saidah Rastam’s talk entitled Jangan Putih Mata at Badan Warisan Malaysia’s Heritage Center on Sunday, 16 August 2015.
In all honesty, I probably would not have attended this talk if I was not working for Badan Warisan Malaysia. I guess I can consider this the ‘perks’ of the job.
The evening began with a short introduction of Datin Saidah Rastam by Elizabeth Cardosa, the Executive Director.
Datin Saidah Rastam is a composer who has written music for theatre, film dance and TV, for gamelan, martial artists, choral groups, Chinese opera singers, orchestras and electronica. A show she created last year, Malam Terang Bulan, for singers and orchestra and featuring Dato’ Zahim Albakri and Chacko Vadaketh, will be restaged at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in November 2015. Her book Rosalie and Other Love Songs was published by Khazanah Nasional Berhad as part of a preservation project on Malayan music, recordings, manuscripts and oral history.
Datin Saidah spoke about various topics concerning patriotic music from the iconic Malaysian composers and producers, the history of our national anthem, the Negaraku and her research for the book Rosalie.
One particular point that I related to was when Datin Saidah mentioned works done by artists of my generation, citing examples like Namewee and Najwa Mahiaddin.While they may not sound like your average patriotic songs, the lyrics showcase a love for the nation, hope for a better tomorrow and calls for unity- which got me thinking about Ella’s song-‘Standing in the Eyes of the World’ for the 98′ Commonwealth Games.
I was in awe- firstly because the audience remembered these songs and secondly, for the energy that radiated from them. It was inspiring, moving, energetic and full of pride for this country and its people.
I can’t say I’m looking forward to celebrating the independence of our country with a renewed sense of patriotism, but I do have to admit that this talk has certainly given me a new perspective on the different kinds of personalities that were part of building our nation- stuff that you probably would not find in your Buku Sejarah sekolah.
Join Badan Warisan Malaysia for our RAYA OPEN HOUSE on SUNDAY, 16 AUGUST 2015. Bring a friend and explore more about the exciting programmes we have lined up for this year. There will be food and music; you can visit the Rumah Penghulu, network with other members and renew your membership!
The evening will begin with a talk at 5.00 pm by DATIN SAIDAH RASTAM on JANGAN PUTIH MATA which is about HEROES and ANTI-HEROES in patriotic music during MALAYSIA’S nation building years. It explores stories, accounts and conspiracies and examines the continuing potency of songs written in that idealistic era.
Datin Saidah Rastam is a well-known composer for theatre, film dance and TV and most recently, she composed and directed Malam Terang Bulan which was staged last September. She is the author of Rosalie and Other Love Songs, a preservation project on Malayan music, recordings, manuscripts and oral history.
BWM MEMBERS: FREE NON MEMBERS: RM25
ABOUT DATIN SAIDAH RASTAM
Saidah Rastam is a composer who has written music for theatre, film dance and TV, for gamelan, martial artists, choral groups, Chinese opera singers, orchestras and electronica. She was the musical director for the launch of the Petronas Twin Towers. A show she created last year, Malam Terang Bulan, for singers and orchestra and featuring Dato’ Zahim Albakri and Chacko Vadaketh, will be restaged at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in November 2015.
Her book Rosalie and Other Love Songs was published by Khazanah Nasional Berhad as part of a preservation project on Malayan music, recordings, manuscripts and oral history. She is now working on a documentary on the early years of Sultan Idris Training College and the Malay College Kuala Kangsar: institutions which produced young men with radically different ideals. Saidah trained as a barrister and was in practice for seven years.
Badan Warisan Malaysia will be hosting a talk on CHARLES READE: TOWN PLANNING BRITISH MALAYA on MONDAY, 17 AUGUST 2015 from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. The talk will be given by KAMALRUDDIN SHAMSUDIN (A.K.A KL DIN), the author of the book of the same title. His book is the result of over 25 years of research.
The talk will follow with DR. CHRISTINA GARNAUT’S presentation on Reade’s international contribution during the growth of modern town planning in the early 20th century. Dr. Garnaut lectures planning & architectural history at the University of South Australia.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The book reveals the forgotten contributions of Charles Reade, the pioneer Government Town Planner of British Malaya (1921-1929). Reade was responsible for town planning in Kuala Lumpur and other towns of the Federated Malay States through the 1920s. His contributions touched the lives of coolie lines, government worker’s housing, the reservation of public grounds connected with the proclamation of Malaya Independence from British rule and other sites and buildings of national landmark and heritage – all of these contributions are largely unknown amongst the general public. His planning ideas were in advance of their time and consequently Reade faced much opposition to his planning legislation which was meant to guide and regulate building and town extensions. One of his most enduring legacies is the planning and design of Kuala Kubu Bharu township –Malaya’s first Garden City township along similar lines of the Garden Cities and Town Planning Associations of Great Britain. The talk will highlight some of his contributions in Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Kuala Kubu Bharu etc.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS:
Kamalruddin Shamsudin (the past Deputy Director General of the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning) will talk about his latest book (2015), entitled: “Charles Reade: Town Planning British Malaya – A Story of the forgotten contributions of an ardent Garden City enthusiast of early twentieth century Malaya.” The book is based on his 25 years of intermittent research.
Dr. Christine Garnaut, who is the current Vice-President/President-elect of the International Planning History Society, will provide an overview of Charles Reade’s background and his global contributions. She has researched and written about Reade in South Australia and elsewhere. Reade’s work touched the lives of many people from Great Britain, Australia, Malaya, Northern Rhodesia and South Africa.