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WORLDS IN MOTION. Narrating Migration

People have always been on the move, all around the world. As they move, they also take with them their lifestyles, language, music, and arts and crafts. Much of what is reputedly ‘authentic’ for a culture turns out, at second glance, to be an ‘import’. Starting from its own collections, the Weltkulturen Museum raises associative questions highlighting how the world’s diversity of cultures has always existed in a process of exchange. From historical settlement movements, labour migration or globalisation – people and their diverse cultures have always been in a process of constant exchange. Is migration really only a reaction to or a cause of problems – or far more a key driver for new forms of community in a constantly changing world?

Artists and participants:
Adams Bodomo, Behrouz Boochani and Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Artist Collective Teru, Shahram Entekhabi, Edzard Herlyn and Thomas Hoeren, Junges Schauspiel Frankfurt, Karinding Keos, Phyllis Kiehl, Ella Knorz, Mansuela, Gora Mbengue, Yasemin Niephaus, José Oliveira, participants of the workshop „stories that matter“, Rajery und 3MA, Safransirup, Wiparat Sukatorn, Felix Schwarz, Takayuki Tamura, Daniel Traub with Wu Yong Fu and Zeng Xian Fang, Cliff Whiting

Weltkulturen Museum
Schaumainkai 29
60594 Frankfurt
€7 / reduced €3.50


Migration makes Music

Here you will find the links to the audiosamples from the room ‘Migration makes Music’, where chordophones from todays Indonesia are presented. Most of these instruments ‘migrated’ to the archipelago, among them the rebab and the gambus, which both spread from the Arabian peninsula through trade.  Concerning the kacapi, it is not quite clear whether the instrument came from India to the Malay Archipelago. But for sure it spread by internal migration.

There are two audiosample for rebab, gambus (the oud), and kacapi, respectively. All audiosamples are property of Smithoninan Folkways and linked to the website of the institution.

Rebab: Audio samples

Balinese Gamelan Ensemble with rebab, various artists, 1950: Ganda Pura (Djanger Abijan-Timbul); Music of Indonesia; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (2:35 min)

Song and rebab from Egypt, various artists, 1982: Ya Habibi, ya asal,… (O honey hasting love); Rabab: Egyptian Singing and Epic Songs; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (6:07 min)

Gambus and oud: Audio samples 

Orkès Gambus Al-Hidayah, 1996: Cari hiburan (In search of diversion); Music of Indonesia; Vol. 11: Melayu Music of Sumatra and the Riau Islands; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (7:03 min)

Oud improvisation from Lebanon, anonymous artist, 1981: Taqsim on the Oud; Melodies and Rhythms of Arabic Music; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (6:09 min)

Kacapi: Audio samples

Tihang Gultom Group conducted by Guru Tihang, 1976: Song of the Ugly One; Batak Music: Toba Batak Music played by the Tihang Gultom Group; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (3:17 min) 

Bugis Kacapi Ensemble, Pangkajene (Abdul Halim, La Podding, La Mamma), 1997: Getti‘ Lampa; Music of Indonesia Vol. 15: South Sulawesi Strings; Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways (3:23 min)

Global – Local – Glocal

Bamboo zithers like the celempung renteng from Westjava, Indonesia are hardly played today. Still it is one oft he ‚traditional‘ instruments of todays Indonesia. Young metal bands like Karinding Keos started to combine these instruments with metal music to create a new genre which emphasises their cultural identity at the same time. 

Karinding Keos. Celempung Renteng and Sistem

In many of their songs, the young Sundanese metal band Karinding Keos from Bandung uses the celempung renteng bamboo tube zither as a rhythm instrument. For the Weltkulturen Museum, Karinding Keos has laid down a basic rhythm track with the celempung which the band also uses, for instance, in their song Sistem (System). The band’s name refers to the karinding, a traditional bamboo instrument similar to a jew’s harp, also currently used by various Sundanese bands.

Karinding Keos, 2019: basic rhythm celempung renteng; Bandung, Indonesia; Karinding Keos (0:20 min)

Karinding Keos, 2019:  celempung renteng and accompaniment; Bandung, Indonesia; Karinding Keos (0:20 min)

Karinding Keos, 2019: Sistem (System); Bandung, Indonesia; Karinding Keos (3:06 min)

Altars and good-luck symbols

What do a Portuguese bakery, a Thai massage studio and a Japanese restaurant have in common in Frankfurt? 

Their proprietors come from various countries, and offer services and products from other parts of the world to their Frankfurt customers. 

In addition to their products and services, all three business owners integrate individually designed altars and good-luck symbols into their business premises. These highly symbolic objects possess a deep meaning for their owners, while also making a statement about their beliefs and culture. 

The proprietors share their personal stories with their Frankfurt customers, who are notable for their heterogeneity and diversity. At the same time, altars and good-luck symbols help their owners to establish roots for themselves and their businesses in Frankfurt, thereby ensuring their long-term success. 

In the videos, the three interviewees present their own personal points of view. 

Altar dedicated to Buddha and the ‘father of medicine’, Luna Buh Chivok, who developed the Thai massage

Interview with Ms Fahsai Wiparat Sukatorn, managing director; Bai Boon Thai massage studio, Bockenheim, Frankfurt, Germany

The massage provided by Ms Wiparat Sukatorn in the Bai Boon massage studio, located in the district of Bockenheim, boasts a tradition stretching back 2,500 years in Thailand, its country of origin. 

Madonnas and saints – An altar from Portugal

Interview with Mr José Oliveira, managing director, baker and confectioner; Bäckerei Bela, Preungesheim, Frankfurt, Germany

In Bäckerei Bela, in the district of Preungesheim, José Oliveira is doing a roaring trade in German baked goods while also producing pastries from Portuguese recipes. 

Morijio – good-luck symbols from Japan

Interview with Mr Takayuki Tamura, managing director and sushi master; Sakura restaurant, Frankfurt city centre, Germany

Sushi master Takayuki Tamura runs a team that serves a select range of freshly prepared Japanese dishes to guests in the restaurant Sakura, which is situated in downtown Frankfurt.

Videos: Mona Suhrbier and Felix Schwarz 2019