Talking metal: Ipoh Music Symposium goes virtual with 'rock kapak' culture series


  • Arts
  • Saturday, 03 Oct 2020

Bumi Putra Rockers (BPR) with its first gold award for its second album titled 'Bisa' (which sold 25,000 units) in 1988. BPR is part of the Rock Kapak symposium's online concert line-up on Oct 10. Photo: Filepic

This year's Ipoh Music Symposium series returns this Oct 10 and 11 with a focus on the golden age of Malaysian heavy metal/rock culture in the 1980s.

The symposium, titled Rock Kapak, is set to take place at the creative arts space PORT (People Of Remarkable Talents) in Ipoh on Oct 10.

All limited seats (due to public health and safety restrictions) have been booked out. The good news is the Rock Kapak symposium will be streamed live on the Facebook page of "Port Ipoh".

"Rock kapak is a topic that has a wide reach among many Malaysians and is a music genre close to their hearts. The discussions and the panelists we have invited will not only focus on the big bands involved, the programme will also look into the genre's early beginnings, how it impacted youth culture, the breakthrough years, the censorship issues right through the celebrated legacies or forgotten histories of some of the pioneering groups. We will try to fit in as much as we can in one weekend," says Nur Hanim Mohamed Khairuddin, the general manager of PORT Ipoh.

Rock Kapak is the second edition of the Ipoh Music Symposium series, which began with Independent Music last year.

"The Ipoh Music Symposium series is an opportunity for different artistic communities to meet up for a weekend annually to discuss key music movements in Malaysia. The platform is all about adding broader conversations and views to the symposium theme (of the year). We hope to publish some of the discussions too," she adds.

Flashback: The rock kapak audience seen at the Konsert Gemuruh Double Trouble, featuring Search and Wings, in Seberang Jaya, Penang in 2010. Photo: FilepicFlashback: The rock kapak audience seen at the Konsert Gemuruh Double Trouble, featuring Search and Wings, in Seberang Jaya, Penang in 2010. Photo: Filepic

The Rock Kapak symposium on Oct 10 will run from 9.30pm to 7pm, with a keynote speech from Prof Dr Wan Zawawi Ibrahim, a renowned academic and musician. A total of four sessions will take place at the symposium, with panelists including filmmaker Nasir Jani, folk singer Meor, academics Dr Norman Yusoff, Dr Raja Iskandar Raja Halid and Dr Takiyuddin Ismail, writer/film critic Daniyal Kadir and Shazni Bhai, cultural worker/researcher.

The symposium topics will include how rock music influenced Malay youth, rock kapak movies, commercial-minded rock ballad culture, copyright and piracy issues right to the Orang Asli rock (Senoi tribe) subculture.

A concert, featuring veteran rock kapak bands May, Kris and Bumi Putra Rockers (BPR), will stream live on Oct 10 at 9pm on Facebook.

On Oct 11, a rock kapak forum will take place at 10.30am. The forum, moderated by Wan Zawawi, features Jennifer Thompson (music industry pioneer), Hattan (singer), Nasir Jani and Zulkifli Abu Kassim (Headwind guitarist). The forum will also stream live on Facebook.

An exhibition of rock kapak paraphernalia will also be held at the PORT venue. It will run from Oct 10-18, opening times: 10am-6pm. Free admission.

PORT will have in place the public health guidelines provided by the government to ensure the safety of visitors.

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