by Jia Ying Chia
Rousing applause and excited chatter fills the room, as band members of the Elisha Tiga Experiment play out the final note of their performance for “The Traditional Eksperiment”. It is a treat to be able to enjoy live music in the nation, and this celebration of the country’s musical heritage with a contemporary jazz perspective was a joyful and at times transcendent exercise of old meeting new.
The project gathers some of the most talented musicians in Brunei to conceptualise new sounds using their instruments, under the guidance of Elisha Tiga. He said that they believe as time goes by the world continues to develop even further, newer cultures will burgeon. “
Our forefathers would not expect that the term ‘social media culture’ would exist, let alone know what social media is. With information freely received today, cross-cultural development is a major player in the creation of new ideas. For many, history will eventually be diminished and ultimately forgotten, hence losing a sense of representation to the country and community we came from.” Tiga added that the project strives to “at least find a niche to bring forward out artefacts into (modern society) because we believe in the value in preserving them” .
The group also highlights lesser-known traditional songs from indigenous groups across Brunei’s four districts such as the Murut and Dusun. “The Traditional Eksperiment is the first of its kind and hopes to bridge traditional music with contemporary modern ideas, in hopes that our future generations can relate and appreciate the values of our heritage and traditions in a more familiar sonis experience,” said Tiga, who is a musical producer, instrumentalist, and composer, as well as an educator.