Name: Chris; also known as Apai Rentap (father of Rentap), name given to me according to tradition by my Iban friends from the longhouses of the Skrang river in Sarawak on Borneo island after the birth of my first son, whose 2nd middle name is Rentap, after a famous Iban leader of the 19th century
Home town: This Planet...Gaia, Dunia, Earth, Tierra, Bumi, Terra, Pacha Mama... whatever it's called, it's the only one we have, and wherever we are, we're on it...in the exotic UK at the moment
Hobbies: Travel, music, motorcycling, reading, movies, TV series and good food...
Music: World Music, Reggae, Ethno Pop, classic rock & pop, indie rock...
Languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, some Malay / Indonesian
My motto: One World!
About the Travel With Your Ears™ Website
Hello music lovers from all over!
With travel and music being lifelong passions, I have nurtured the idea of Travel With Your Ears™ for a long time, and have finally taken the plunge to start looking after this idea seriously...but first a bit of background for context.
Of French and Peruvian heritage, growing in both countries with a strong liking for Andean folklore and music, listening to Cuban Son and Cumbia alongside rock and pop as a teen, and being a distant relative of the Condor Pasa composer, I was naturally drawn to develop an interest for all sorts of music from around the world.
Professionally however it is in the travel and tourism industry that I have made a living, in roles as varied as Tour Guide, Tour Sales Consultant or Director of Marketing for Tourism Boards, working and living in over a dozen countries and visiting for pleasure or business many more on the 5 continents.
This has brought me in contact with not only different landscapes from jungles to deserts, but also different food types, cultures, languages, religious beliefs, art forms and of course genres of music.
It has also taught me that most differences are superficial, and that we are all somehow united in our humanity, with similar needs, aspirations, joys and sorrows. When it comes to culture, art, food or music, which are often shaped by one's environment, history and geographical circumstances, the differences generated should however be celebrated, as they enrichen our lives and make our time on this Earth so much more interesting, none more so than through travel and appreciation of music, particularly with the genre known as World Music.
I have been extremely lucky to being able to combine both these passions on the professional front some years ago when working for the Sarawak Tourism Board in the Malaysian state of Sarawak on Borneo island.
When Canadian multi-instrumentalist Randy Raine-Reusch, while visiting Sarawak to record musicians from the indigenous rainforest communities, met with some of the art and culture community in Kuching, the state capital, and with senior management at the Sarawak Tourism Board, the idea of the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) was born and the first festival was held in 1998 at the iconic Sarawak Cultural Village venue in Santubong nearby Kuching.
The rest as they say is history, as the RWMF festival is now one of the top and most original World Music festivals in the world.
Involved from the beginning, at first with the Selection Committee sourcing performers for the festival alongside my role in marketing it to the trade, media and public, I had the honour to chair the Organizing Committee for the 2001 edition of the festival, bringing together the tourism and musical aspects of the festival with the objectives of making RWMF a major tourism activity in Sarawak's and Malaysia's calendar of events, as well as a serious but fun musical event bringing performers and musical styles from all over the world while nurturing local talent and reinforcing cultural pride in Borneo's artistic heritage in the face of modernization.
Helping in a way to position the festival in the right tracks as a touristic and musical event, preserving the legacy of the founders while ensuring its path to success, the festival has done exceptionally well in the ensuing years under the stewardship of the Sarawak Tourism Board and subsequent organizing committees, while for me it represents some of my fondest professional memories and a source of pride due to my contributions and positive involvement.
This involvement led me to attend several WOMEX trade fairs, attend a WOMAD festival in Singapore, being interviewed about Sarawak and the festival on Bloomberg TV in London and taking part in numerous radio programs and promotions building up to the festival's dates, while accumulating an impressive CD collection of World Music and Folk artists.
Moving to Brunei after finishing my contract in Sarawak, I was invited a few years ago by one of the top local radio DJs to prepare short World Music programs to be broadcast in between programs to educate listeners on the music and the countries or regions from where it came...and I named those programs Travel With Your Ears™ !