Gitu’an: Magical song of the stars

By now everyone knows that Alena Murang’s music genre leans more towards world music. In the context of our geographical region, her music is deeply rooted in her heritage, the Kelabit culture. 

Two weeks ago, Alena released a new music video, Gitu’an, in honour of her ancestry. Here, we take a look at three reasons why Gitu’an is such a magical song:


Mesmerising music that transcends cultures

You don’t need to understand Kelabit to fully appreciate Gitu’an. First of all, you get English and Malay subtitles, so that helps big time! 

Secondly, Alena’s vocals, interwoven with the sounds of sape, guitar and drums in Gitu’an, produce a unique world music – one that transcends diverse cultures and has a profound healing effect on those who listen carefully.

The sounds of Gitu’an is so magical, listening to it will give you goosebumps – the soothing kind of course!


On point visuals 

You know those moments when you’re looking at the screen, and you can’t help but feel intrigued at how the entire music video would pan out once you press the play button? Gitu’an is exactly that kind of music video! 

The reimagining of galaxy-ish generative art over natural elements of the Kelabit Highlands in Gitu’an’s music video emulates a dreamy ambiance that will transport you to a different realm.

Gitu’an by Alena Murang

Also, Alena’s own talented cousin Max Jala created the generative art in this music video by utilising a method of coding visuals that respond to sounds. Just the fact that talented Sarawakians band together to produce this music video is something that deserves a standing ovation!


A song that honours ancestry

There are many symbolisms – lyrical and visuals – in this song that show elements of honouring ancestors. First is the name itself. Did you know that Gitu’an means stars in Kelabit language? So what has stars got to do with ancestry?  

That brings us to the lyrics, especially its hypnotic chorus: “Tauh pupuh luun merar ma’on, Tauh nih let luun langit”. In literal translation, this means ‘we are our ancestors, we are the people of the sky’. ‘We’, here is obviously referring to the Kelabit people.

To explain it better, according to Alena herself, Gitu’an is “a reflection of who our ancestors were, and how, even though we now live in such different times and environments, we inherit who we are from those who came before us.”


Also, Alena and her MV team specially dedicated this song to a legendary songbird in the Kelabit tribe, Tepu’ Ngalinuh Karuh, who passed on two months ago. The special appearance of this much-respected Kelabit elder in the song’s opening segment has certainly radiated nostalgic and fuzzy feelings to Gitu’an.

Now that you now more about the song, go ahead and give Gitu’an a listen now!

Write a response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

BorneoTalk © Copyright 2020. All rights reserved.