Preserving Traditional Art Through Music, Alena Murang Gives A Sneek Peak on Midang Midang MV

Growing up in Borneo, Alena Murang was surrounded by a rich natural environment, and cultures of many different indigenous cultures of the island. She is part Kelabit – one of the smallest ethnic groups on the island. Borneo is ingrained in the person that she is. She strives to tell the stories of the people and environment of Borneo, particularly of the Orang Ulu; Kenyah, Kelabit and Penan people of the Sarawak, through her visual art, music and some production and TV work; through research and documentation, language preservation and cultural activism.
Learning from her Kelabit and Kenyah elders, Alena Murang sings, dances and plays the sape’ (a traditional lute instrument). She is one of the first and few female sape’ players, and is growing in the global World Music Scene, travelling USA, Europe and Asia in 2018.
She started “ART4 Studio”, an organisation that aims to use art and music as a medium for positive impact, grounded in indigenous community values that are strong in the longhouse villages.

Alena Murang has been featured on Nat Geo People, Channel News Asia, Asian Nikkei Review, NPR Radio, BBC Radio 2, CBC News, and Discovery Channel and today, she launches her ‘Midang Midang’ music video at GSC Quill City Mall. Over a hundred attendees came to show support; comprising mainly of media and invited guests.

With her focus on bringing native songs and stories to global stages, together with “Project Room” production team, the event was made possible with the collaboration with GSC. Supporting partners include the Sarawak Tourism Board, Miri City Council, Marriott Resort Miri and Kanid Studio. The music video was co-produced with Project Room, a KL based production house. At the press conference, Alena shared her views on the importance of heritage songs

“Heritage songs are such an important way to keep our language, values, and stories alive. Our Kelabit songs almost always have elements of nature, and that’s why this time it was so important for us to film on the land in which the song came from Miri and Bario village.”

The music video showcased an ancestral Kelabit song in a contemporary way, demonstrating adaptations of Kelabit music, dance and land, and Sarawak fashion; with the likes of LANA, Maatin Shakir, Von Jolly Couture, Atelier Karl Jimmy,TeeCode, Wan Bynun, Neng Kho Razali, Raben Beads and Tanoti being donned by the star. Each film department was led by Orang Ulu youths, proving once again that heritage has a contemporary home.
“Growing up in Borneo, Alena Murang has shown a great sense of belonging by representing the Kelabit community, one of the 27 ethnic groups in Sarawak where she was raised. We are pleased to be with her in this special occasion,” said Sarawak Tourism Board, Chief Executive Officer, Sharzede Salleh.
“She is not just a performer, but also a good narrator that shares her amazing stories through music that articulates Sarawak’s unique culture and become one of the pillars in promoting Sarawak as a destination,” she added.
With an accompanying Behind the Scenes video, the event hopes to encourage viewers to think about the marginalisation and misrepresentation of indigenous peoples in Malaysian media, and the importance of cultural heritage; as well as give viewers an insight to better understand Sarawak and Dayak cultures.
“As one of Malaysia’s leading cinema exhibitors, Golden Screen Cinemas understands that we play an important role in the development, promotion, and championing of local culture and the arts. From our annual international film festivals to support of independent artists like Alena, we are committed to providing Malaysians access to content that complements our enriching cinema experiences,” said Mr Sharmine Ishak, Manager, PR & Branding, Golden Screen Cinemas.
To follow Alena Murang, refer to the inormation below:
Contact: [email protected] YouTube:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.