Ep 22: Alena Murang (Sarawakian Sape Player, Visual Artist & Heritage Advocate)
Alena Ose’ Murang is Sarawakian sape player singer, teacher, speaker, social entrepreneur, visual artist & heritage advocate. Born in Kuching, Sarawak, to a Kelabit father, Ose Murang and English-Italian mother Valerie Mashman, Alena and her older brother were immersed in their local heritage from young including dance and the local lute instrument, the sape. While Alena has never formally studied music, she answered her calling to be a keeper of stories for her people and in 2016, released her first EP, Flight – a collection of traditional Kenyah & Kelabit songs.
Since then, Alena has performed at many renowned world music festivals including the SXSW (USA), Colors of Ostrava (Czech Republic), Paris Fashion Week (France), Rudolstadt Festival (Germany), OzAsia Festival (Australia), and Rainforest World Music Festival (Malaysia). She was a youth representative at the UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris, and UNESCO Asia-Pacific for her work in intangible cultural heritage.
Alena also started Kanid Studio (previously known as ART4 Studio), a social enterprise that uses art and music as a medium for positive impact, grounded in indigenous community values that are strong in the longhouse villages.
Alena Murang has been featured on Nat Geo People, Channel News Asia, Asian Nikkei Review, NPR Radio, BBC Radio 2, Radio 6, CBC News, Discovery Channel, Double J, etc.