KOTA KINABALU: When Joanna Funk returned home to Sabah after decades of working in Britain as a journalist, she was delighted to discover a thriving music scene.
That was four years ago. She saw there was no shortage of local talent, citing the examples of groups such as Momain Blues, KIDZ and Hinava.
Funk, 49, then started a blog (sabahsongs.wordpress.com ) devoted to Sabah’s music scene.
One thing led to another and she even tracked down teenage talent Raimon Sukudat at his kampung in the northern Kudat district.
Her blog focusses on musicians and events such as the KK Jazz Festival.
An offshoot of Funk’s online endeavour was a 240-page hardcover book titled Sabah Songs which was launched by state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun here yesterday.
Funk said she believed that musical talent prevailed among many Sabahans but they needed to be nurtured.
“Among the things we need more are venues where performances could be held,” said Funk, who is married to a fellow Sabahan. They have a 17-year-old son.
Masidi said the state was spending about RM6mil to improve the acoustics at the Sabah Cultural Centre which was being converted as a centre for the performing arts by the middle of next year.
“We will be installing the necessary audio and lighting equipment so that events such as or orchestral performances and plays could be staged there,” Masidi added.
He said the state’s music scene was a thriving one due to Saba-hans’ acceptance of the diverse races and religions.
Source : The Star