SMALL ISLAND BIG SONG
“Simply brilliant! “ 5 star - Seth Jordan, Songlines magazine (UK)
“…most heartfelt and evocative sounds imaginable.”
- Tom Orr, RootsWorld (USA)
- Stuart Derdeyn, Vancouver Sun (Canada)
“In our globalised, computerised world, music can bring us awareness of who we are, our history and our values and our connection to nature. I bring what my grandfather poured into me.”
- Yoyo Tuki, Rapa Nui/Easter Island
“Our songs are a reflection of our enviroment. Our songs are strong like the mountains which surround our village; Our songs are humble in respect of the land which feeds us.”
- Ado Kaliting Pacidal, Pangcah Taiwan
There’s a chapter of Earth’s history few know. 5,000 years ago people of the Pacific designed ocean going outrigger canoes and crossed the horizons, voyaging the expanse of the Pacific and Indian Ocean, those few brave seafarers are now 400 million people.
A unique cultural lineage which stretches over half the Earth’s surface from Rapa Nui (Easter Island) to Madagascar, Taiwan to Aotearoa (New Zealand). This vast heritage is separated by distance and time, imposed languages and borders but united through culture and music. Small Island Big Song reunites this ancient ancestry on record and in concert.
Over three years, Small Island Big Song visited 16 Island Nations, working with over 100 artists sharing this ancestry, all recorded on their homelands in nature using traditional instruments and languages, all contributing to each others songs, mixed and produced in the field and mastered at Real World Studio UK. The result is a surprising stunning musical collaboration reuniting the distant yet interconnected musical traditions of these vast oceans. A powerful, playful and poignant collaboration and the foundation of Small Island Big Song.
The album released in Sep’ 2018, and bound in hand made tapa bark paper has been receiving critical acclaim along with SONGLINES UK ‘best album 2018’ status. To bring the depth and vastness of the region, heritage and project to stage, a unique cinematic concert has been created, with tours in 2018 to the US, Europe and Asia. The ensemble of up to ten profiled artists backed by panoramic visuals will return to the stage in 2019, to touch the ears and hearts of audiences across Europe, Asia and the Americas with the message ‘Our ocean unites us, not separates us’.
SXSW South by South West 2018, Austin USA (premiere at International Day Stage)
Førde Festival 2018, Førde Norway (opening)
EtnoSur festival 2018, Alcala la Real Spain (headlining)
Taoyuan music festival 2018, Taoyuan Taiwan (headlining)
WSD World Stage Design 2017, Taipei Taiwan
Indigenous Celebration 2018, Bali Indonesia
Peace Boat NGO, Japan
Sammy Merina - Madagascar
Sammy is a luthier, multi- instrumentalist and music director of the globally successful Madagascan band Tarika Sammy, Time magazines top 20 music acts of the year. He has peformed onstage with peers such as Ali Farka Touré & Youssou N’Dour. His one man band solo show layers the sounds of Madagascar and will have the crowd stomping and singing along, and his instrument making workshops will leave a trail of Valihia’s.
Malagasy - French - English
Ado Kaliting Pacidal Pangcah - Taiwan
Ado is a singer-songwriter, actor, TV host/producer and activist known for playing the lead role in the award winning Taiwanese indigenous film ‘Panay’, her hit Pangcah language single and her TV presence. Concerned about the fading Pangcah culture, she infuses her song writing with storytelling and traditional chants. She releases her third studio album in 2019, featuring the other members of SIBS, which is bound to feature in her solo shows.
Pangcah - Mandarin - English
Poemoana Tahitian - Tahiti
Poemoana began dancing at a young age, and now dancing is central in her life. She was the co-choreographer Tahiti’s internationally renowned “O Tahiti E” and voted best dancer of the group in 2009. She then went on to make the podium in the “Ori Tahiti Nui Solo” competition and came in vice-world champion at the Ori Tahiti world Championship in 2015. Her workshops are well attended throughout Asia and will add a graceful touch to the festival.
Tahitian - French - English.
Jerome Kavanagh Maori - New Zealand
Grammy award winning featured soloist and Maori musical instrument specialist Jerome Kavanagh has become part of a movement introducing Maori music, art and culture to the world. Over his career he has performed in a variety of different genres which range from Hip Hop to Classical. His collaborations include The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (U.K) & Moana and the Tribe (N.Z). His ambient solo show will take the audience away to Aotearoa..
Maori - English
Charles Maimarosia Are’Are - Solomon Islands
Former lead singer, choreographer and songwriter of the globally renowned Narasirato Pan Pipe Band, Charles is no stranger to festival main stages. Master of Bamboo Instruments, such as the Awaa and Au-Rerepi (Pan pipes). His aresting voice from the depth of his culture will sing out across the festival, transporting people to other realms. true! His solo show and flute making workshops will bring a inspiring musical spirit to the festival.
Are’Are - English
Alena Murang Kelabit - Borneo
Singer-song writer, Sape’ player and visual artist, Alena is one of the first women to openly perform and teach the Sape’. She is actively preserving the disappearing music of Sarawak’s, Kenyah and Kelabit tribes, bringing the songs and themes to her contemporary music practice. Her solo shows are much in demand across Asia, as she shares her Sarawak heritage,
through song stories and dance. Her insights into cultural maintenance would add to a panel talk.
Kelabit - English - Bahasa
Yoyo Tuki Rapa Nui - Easter Island
Yoyo is regarded as one of today’s leading Rapa Nui musicians, a regular at festivals across the Pacific. Yoyo’s captivating voice and innovative world sound blends contemporary roots feels with his ancient Rapa Nui heritage. A cultural activist, Yoyo is proud to present his Rapa Nui ancestors as custodians of their homeland rather than destroyers, contrary to western beliefs. A powerful solo act, his show in Spanish and Rapa Nui will win over the festival.
Rapa Nui - Spanish - English
Siao-Chun Tai Paiwan - Taiwan
With a critically aclaimed album debut album and numerous shows, already under her belt, Siao-Chun is a young performer building a strong future. Grounded in her Paiwan village life, her songs have a strong sense of heritage. which she carries proudly into her stage presence, a spirit which will stay with audience. Active in maintaining traditional Paiwan instrumnets such as the nose flute and jawharp, she will sharefresh and ancient sounds.
Paiwan - Mandarin - English
Tim Cole - Artistic Director / Music Producer
Tim is an Australian Music Producer/Filmmaker specialising in cross cultural projects - filmed, recorded
and produced in the field. Producing several award winning projects including Not Drowning Waving’s
‘Tabaran’ landmark world music release and the groundbraking feature film ‘Vanuatu Women’s Water Music’,
(5-stars Songlines). A key creative behind countless headling acts including Sing Sing, Archie Roach,
Telek & Circus Oz he is well experinced in delivering powerful shows. A Churchill Fellow Tim has also been
invited to speak at the United Nation’s NYC, WOMEX15 & FestPac to share his creative perspective.
Bao Bao Chen - Project Producer / Manager / Web Storyteller
Fluent in both Mandarin and English, Project Producer/Manager BaoBao Chen has a Bachelor of Business
Administration degree from Taiwan and is a well known public speaker in Taiwan including TEDx Taipei,
The Taipei Arts Festival, numerous University and Television presentations with a social media following
of 150k. As the project manager, BaoBao has brought the project to live from her passion and love of
the arts and nature. Besides managing the recording & filmings sessions (being a cinematagrapher herself),
she also managed an extensive world tour in 2018 to SXSW, Førde festival, EtnoSur festival and a
7-week European/Asia album launch tour, featuring 4 to 12 musicians across the oceans.
She also produced an interactive website showcasing the music and stories of Small Island Big Song.