Thank you Emmanuel “Nuk” Chee for sending me this photo. A new library has just opened up in the Tanjung Aru area of Kota Kinabalu. Nuk saw the SabahSongs book on a trolley. Let’s hope they place it where everyone can find it! Yay! Thanks again Nuk ♥️🤗
When I first visited Datuk Peter Pragas, he welcomed me with a gentleness which made me feel quietly delighted and humbled. We shared a plate of biscuits and soft drinks at his daughter Jeanette’s home, off Jalan Bundusan. The living room was heaving with evidence of the Datuk’s musical achievement in Sabah: newspaper articles, publications, … Continue reading Datuk Peter Pragas
After a decade of challenges in the Malaysian music industry, graphic designer Tian Long had given up on making a living through music. Then he made a funny animated video about being a Hakka Chinese guy pleading with his girlfriend not to go to England. His YouTube inbox was flooded with messages from thousands of … Continue reading Tian Long – the Hakka Singer
In August 2008 Dr. Sophie Van Aerde arrived in Sabah from France, to marry her husband-to-be. Two weeks later, I arrived in Sabah from England, to marry my husband-to-be. Serendipity brought us together, and we not only began to play music – because Sophie’s a violinist and I’m a pianist – we became the best … Continue reading Sophie Van Aerde
A group of waist-high kids being adopted by a music mentor, to be tutored at his home? Seems unthinkable doesn’t it? Moses De Silva, a double bass player in Kota Kinabalu, was my translator in this interview. Warning: a bit of politically incorrect joshing between school friends here. In early 2010, Moses De Silva said … Continue reading The Story of Kidz
The photographs in the book were better, supplied by the Sabah Tourism Board. But Kudat manages to shine, even with what I have here. [Excerpt from: Funk, Joanna. SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu: Opus Publications, 2013. 44-50. Print.] Kudat. This is the place where my great-grandparents first arrived in Sabah. It was the … Continue reading Sunset Symphony – music in a Kudat paradise
Thanks to photographer Henry Liew for his contributions to my book. These are a few from the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival 2010. Here is a bit about that night. Malaysia’s stars fill the sky over Sutera Harbour – 4th KKJF Day One Everyone with Sabahan blood running through their veins will have stood the tallest, … Continue reading KKJF 2010
My friend Yap Keng Vui translated all the conversations with Teo Seng Chong, and I have so much to thank him for. Teo Seng Chong arrived in Sabah in 1986 at the invitation of Tshung Tsin Secondary School (TTSS), to bring Chinese orchestral music into Sabah. He is now Head of Music at TTSS, and … Continue reading The man who brought Chinese orchestra to Sabah
Ethnomusicology scholars have picked up my book SabahSongs: Contemporary Music In Sabah. 😀 The 5th symposium of the International Council of Traditional Music study group on Performing Arts Of South East Asia (PASEA) held their event in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah from 16-22 July 2018. Thank you Yap KV for showing me these lovely photos. Yap … Continue reading Ethnomusicology scholars pick up my book!
My friend Yap sent me a photo of my SabahSongs book in the Penampang (Sabah, Malaysia) Public Library today. Great to see 👍. Thank you Yap!
[Excerpt from: Funk, Joanna. SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu: Opus Publications, 2013. 17-19. Print.] For Aggressive Gentlemen (4AG) are a Chinese heavy metal band. Actually they’re the only one in Kota Kinabalu. I was in Razz Ma Tazz nightclub with my husband Mike. 4AG were playing. I knew nothing about metal and it … Continue reading 4AG – Chinese heavy metal
[Excerpt from: Funk, Joanna. SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Kota Kinabalu: Opus Publications, 2013. 168-173. Print.] Blame It On My Youth Guitarist Joe Ravo grew up in the Bronx and loved music before he really realised it. “When I was a kid, we used to go to my uncle’s house in the holidays. I was … Continue reading The Johnny Rodgers Band
It feels so good to see my book given to someone (whom I don’t know) as a present. Wow! I hope they enjoy reading it.
My cousin Shevon WhatsApped this photo to me, taken at the library in Gaya Island Resort.
The Johnny Rodgers Band musos have my book, SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah, courtesy of book sponsors the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (SPaRKS). So nice!
My cousin Alyssa saw my book in a Times book store window in Kota Kinabalu. I remember looking at a similar window this time last year before the book was out. I tried to imagine it sitting among other beautiful glossy books about Sabah. It seemed like a dream. Thank you Alyssa.
Steinway artist Raphael Alexandre Lustchevsky performed a Chopin recital in Kota Kinabalu on May 8, 2010 as part of the worldwide celebrations “Chopin2010”. 2010 was the 200th anniversary of the birth date of Frédéric François Chopin. I chatted with him after his masterclass, and he said: Music is a thing of beauty; it brings good … Continue reading Raphael Lustchevsky
Klasik Elastik is a duo made up of Sophie Van Aerde (violin, recorder) a doctor from France, and me (piano, melodica). We play mostly classical and gypsy songs. Sophie likes to be very expressive, varying the speed of the music when she feels like it. She has taught me how to listen and follow her. … Continue reading Klasik Elastik PHOTO VIDEO
This was written for my first blog, but Sophie is a big part of my life, so here it is again. In August 2008 Dr. Sophie Van Aerde arrived in Sabah from France, to marry her husband-to-be. Two weeks later, I arrived in Sabah from England, to marry my husband-to-be. Serendipity brought us together, and … Continue reading Sophie Van Aerde – violinist, doctor
It’s just nice to see where it’s getting around 🙂
The U.S. Embassy partnered with SPArKS (Society of Performing Arts in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah), ME Malaysia, Sri Pelancongan Sabah, and American Voices to bring to Kota Kinabalu a concert on American Roots Music on January 09 2013 by Grammy Awards Duo Cathy Fink and Marcy Maxcer, together with Barbara Lamb. Here, SPArKS President Cheong Kok … Continue reading Grammy award-winning U.S. folk musos get the SabahSongs book!
I wrote my first blog SabahSongs from 2009-12. It was about people working in the field of music in Sabah, on the island of Borneo, where I was living at the time. When I said I was moving to Australia, readers of the blog asked me to turn it into a book. Eight manic weeks … Continue reading Blogger to author
Video and transcripts of the speeches at the book launch of SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah, at the Jesselton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu on December 20, 2012. Speech by Datuk CL Chan (the publisher) First of all I would like to thank YB Datuk Masidi Manjun for taking his very precious time to be here with … Continue reading Book launch transcripts VIDEO
Here is some media coverage about the book launch of SabahSongs: Contemporary Music in Sabah. Most of it is out of Malaysia, in English, Chinese and Malay, but some websites from elsewhere took the story from newsfeeds. Click on them to enlarge. English Chinese Malay
With less than a week to go to the book launch, we are down to press packs and other publicity.
I will courier fifty books from Taiwan to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia to fit in a book launch before we move. The books will arrive December 18th 2012. The book launch is Dec 20th. Miles and I fly at 6.00 am Dec 22 to Brisbane. Tight or what? So how does it feel to see … Continue reading Hot Off The Press
In my first blog SabahSongs I wrote about musicians and other people working in the music industry in Sabah. The blog became a book, and it will be launched in a few weeks’ time. Here’s a post about it. I’m about to leave Sabah to move to Brisbane, Australia. I’m hoping a few people in Sabah will pick up where I left off, and take SabahSongs in a new direction.