Marsada, a dynamic group of young musicians from Sumatra, Indonesia. Part of the Toba-Batak indigenous group, their native home and source of inspiration for their music is the beautiful tropical island of Samosir in Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world!!
Marsada means ‘together’ in Batak, an apt name for a group who have known each other and performed together for most of their lives. It is a lively 7-piece Batak group who perform their own arrangements of both traditional ceremonial music (uning-uningan) and more recent Batak folk using a mix of traditional instruments, acoustic guitars and close harmony vocals. Infectious rhythms and sensuous melodies.
Keen to sustain their musical traditions, as well as draw on their modern day influences, Marsada have developed their own arrangements of both the Batak ceremonial music (uning-uningan) and Batak folksongs. Using traditional instruments alongside modern acoustic guitars, Marsada broaden their musical accessibility by weaving together traditional rhythms with those that have evolved from contact with Europe and the west. Traditional instruments used by Marsada include the the hasapi (2-stringed plucked lute); sulim (bamboo flute), garantung (wooden xylophone), taganing (set of 5 wooden drums of varying pitch) and the hesek (common bottle struck with beater).
Engaged in charity work, Children of Sumatra is a charity supported by Marsada, which was set up to correct cleft lip and palate in children living in Sumatra. However, after the tsunami it widened its focus to include disaster relief. It's work which has been witnessed first hand by members of the group and their manager, is making a huge difference to the lives of many people in northern Sumatra, especially the areas of Aceh, Medan and Lake Toba.