Orkestra Sri Temasek and Firqah Alwehdah


We spent Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Esplanade because I just discovered that the venue hosts free concerts during the week, and not just on the weekends. (Thirty minutes of pre-bedtime music FTW.)

On Tuesday, we enjoyed a performance by Orkestra Sri Temasek (above), an ensemble led by music director Mr Muhammad Firdaus Mohamad and resident singer Afi Hanafi, which presented compositions in various traditional Malay genres, including asli, joget and zapin (my favorite). Orkestra Sri Temasek’s resident dancers also demonstrated the basic dances that accompany each genre, and invited audience members to participate on stage.

Earlier today, we returned to see Firqah Alwehdah, a band of five Singaporean musicians who often collaborate with Middle Eastern musicians residing in Southeast Asia. They were founded in 1998 as an ensemble playing Samrah (South Yemeni) folk and dance music, but have since expanded their repertoire to include other kinds of traditional and modern Arabic music from the Middle East. Tonight, their set included upbeat compositions from Egypt, Bahrain, and the U.A.E. Vocalist Muhammad Hussein Alhindwan was just spectacular! (FYI, Firqah Alwehdah is playing two sets on Thursday—at 7:15pm and 8:15pm. Go!)