In the song In My Arms, the character Mahsuri and her warrior husband Wan Derus sing of their passionate love.
The duet is one of the highlights of the musical and soon-to-be-released film Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales), written by theatre director/composer Shafeeq Shajahan.
“The song is romantic, intimate and magical and it combines my Malaysian heritage with contemporary musical theatre, ” says Shafeeq, 28, co-founder of Malaysian-British arts group Liver And Lung.
The musical Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) was one of Liver And Lung’s first works to be shown in KL in 2016. It won the Boh Cameronian Arts Award for Innovation in Musical Theatre in 2017.
The musical, made into a short film, is set for release later this month on YouTube.
To build on the momentum, Liver And Lung has also released its debut studio album, led by the In My Arms single.
Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) is a six-song soundtrack album that depicts the legend of Mahsuri, a Malaysian tale of a beautiful woman wrongly accused of adultery. The album blends South and South-East Asian sounds with contemporary musical theatre elements to reimagine the legend, documenting Mahsuri’s arrival in Langkawi, her romance with the warrior Wan Derus and her untimely death at the hands of her evil mother-in-law, Mahura.
The In My Arms single features the vocals of theatre actor Badrish Bahadur and Irena Taib (from the pop group The Impatient Sisters). The album features rising stars Badrika Baluch (as Mahsuri), Joshua Gui (as Wan Derus), Nabilah Hamid (as Mahura) and Nave VJ (as Deraman).
“I developed the concept for Mahsuri (& Other Peculiar Tales) as a stage musical. The film adaptation has been gestating in my mind for a while so I’m so happy that our music is finally released for all to listen, ” says Shafeeq, who also directed the short film.
“I’ve always believed in the importance of remembering our roots. The Malaysian identity is diverse and colourful and as a film and theatre-maker, I feel a responsibility to keep reintroducing Malaysian stories to new audiences in contemporary and exciting ways, ” he adds.
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