When Monica Akihary was a child she used to cycle around to family and friends in the village to bring them presents that her parents had brought back from their holidays. This is an old custom, rooted in the Moluccan boat voyage ritual, whereby knowledge gained and presents received by the traveller were shared with the villagers upon returning home. In this way a community continues to develop.
A present for guitarist Niels Brouwer and her was the encounter with the lap steel guitarist Bing Leiwakabessy, who travelled to Amsterdam in 2011. He told them about his music, the lap steel and its Moluccan tuning, and his beginnings as a musician in 1947. He also described what it’s like now, to be playing as a 94 year old with young musicians. Uncle Bing, as they call him, expressed his hope for the development of the lap steel in their music.