High note for traditional melodies

The gathering of creative talents at the 4th Cipta Ekspres 2008.

The irama Malaysia music genre gets a boost from MACP and songstress Siti Nurhaliza, writes SHUIB TAIB.

M. Nasir (left) and Siti entertained the crowd with an impromptu duet.

MUSIC Author’s Copyright Protection (MACP) has dedicated its recent four-day 4th Cipta Ekspres 2008 event to the irama Malaysia music genre. Chairman Habsah Hassan said that of late, not much attention has been given to this type of melody and it is “suffering” as a result.

Co-incidentally, MACP, which co-organised the event with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage), also learnt that Datuk Siti Nurhaliza has been looking for material for her upcoming traditional album for the last three years.

“Usually, when we organise this event, we get composers to write songs for the function.

“Unlike past events, all composers this time are hand-picked by us. Most are award winners while some, such as Radhi OAG, are participating for the first time,” said Habsah.

“Since Siti is looking for songs, we got top composers come up with traditional numbers. This is also a belated birthday gift for her.

“Siti is under no obligation to record the songs but it would be great if she did.”

The event saw top-notch songwriters gathering in Port Dickson to come up with songs by the end of the fourth day.

Spotted were M. Nasir, Fauzi Marzuki, Adnan Abu Hassan, Johari Teh, S. Atan, Johan Nawawi, Khairil Johari Johar, Zul Mahat and lyricists Ad Samad, S. Amin Shahab, Alfa Booty, Zubir Ali and Abot.

Although MACP expected 10 songs to be written by the end of the event, creative juices flowed with composers coming up with 13 numbers!

Siti, who attended the event on the last day, was full of praise of the songs.

Accompanied by husband Datuk Seri Khalid Mohamad Jiwa, the singer, who had just returned from performing the haj in Mecca, has given her assurance that she will be using some of the songs for her album.

The songs were performed by Rosma AF, Zila Seeron, Mohaizam Ahmad, Azfar Booty, Khairil Johari Johar and Zubir Ali.

“There are plenty of good songs tonight. Although the production is still raw, I’m pleasantly impressed by the quality. I’ve tried writing songs myself and it is not easy,” said Siti, who wrote the lyrics for several songs on her past albums including Percayalah.

She added that MACP couldn’t have given her a better gift.

“This is truly a meaningful gift. It is also an honour for me to be among the first few to listen to the songs and to be in the presence of such greatness. If my latest album is Hadiah Daripada Hati, this may be called Hadiah Daripada Komposer.”

The ministry represented by its director-general (arts development division) Mohd Adnan Hamzah, also gave its assurance that the songs not used by Siti will be aired in its social campaigns.

“We will work together with MACP. Hopefully the songs can be used for our TV commercials,” said Mohd Adnan.