With the support of a Churchill Fellowship, The Australia Council for the Arts, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Asialink and Rode Microphones, we have visited 14 Island Nations, collaborating with over a hundred First Nation artists from Taiwan to Aotearoa, from Madagascar to Rapa Nui (Easter Island).
Artists contributed to each others songs recorded and filmed in natural locations, from Sarawak’s rainforest Sape to a Papua New Guinea Bamboo Ensemble, from New Zealand Maori’s Taonga Puoro to stunning Taiwanese indigenous harmonies, from Rapa Nui’s Jawaiian reggae to an uplifting Kompang group from Singapore!
Resulting in over 9tbs of cinematic footage and multi-tracked music, which we are currently weaving into 15 collaborative songs to create an album; the songline.
As the album is all in traditional languages delivered in a simple natural banana fibre package (no CD booklet), a comprehensive, multi-lingual website is essential, to discover the cultural breadth of the project. Artists will share their relationship to country, culture and music, supported by stunning images and footage of natural environments and community lifestyle. The songline itself will be explored as you follow cultural connections across the Oceans, on an interactive map. It is for this that we are asking support.
With a sense of urgency, Small Island Big Song has sought out some of the most respected and profiled musicians, to guide us into their culture so to ensure the integrity of the resulting album, generating good will and media interest which in turn will attract a global audience to the website.
Our motivation is the steady march of environmental and cultural loss, but rather than highlight the losses, we will celebrate the wisdom and beauty of the region as it is now, in a positive light.
For this will inspire, engage and enrich the audience through the weaving of contemporary and traditional songs, aural textures and natural sounds, then website will enable a deeper relationship to form, discovering the artists stories; creating respect, empathy and a personal relationship with the region (Australia’s neighbours). For there are many ways to address our shared concerns, but what we are missing is the will.
By joining this vision, you will enable the wisdom of those who do know how to live sustainably on a small island and these often overlooked places to touch the world.