Traditional Taiwanese Indigenous Music Featured in Multinational Song | Taiwan News

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Small Island Big Song (小島 大 歌), a multimedia project featuring more than 100 musicians in 16 island countries in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, released a new single on August 31 starring two native Taiwanese singers.

“Ta’u Tama”, which means “My child” in Tahitian, was written by the husband-wife musical duo Vaiteani and incorporates an eclectic mix of natural sounds and musicians from Tahiti, Mauritius, Madagascar, Easter Island, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and the Marshall Islands, according to a press release from Small Island Big Song.

Taiwanese sounds featured in the song are from Putad, singer Friends of the band Exit drift, and Sauljaljui (戴曉君), a singer from the Paiwan tribe. Outlet Drift took home the award for Best Native Language Album at the 2021 Golden Melody Awards last month for their album “Lady of the Ocean”.

Used to recording musicians on site, the founding couple of the project, Bao Bao Chen (陳 玟 臻) and Tim Cole, were only able to meet artists virtually during the pandemic. Nevertheless, “Ta’u Tama” and its accompaniment Musical clip were completed in eight months.

“The song is dedicated to our next generation, for our earth, for a sustainable future, for survival,” said project organizers.


The singer of Paiwan Sauljaljui. (Facebook, small Big Song Island photo)

Small Island Big Song was established in 2015 after Chen and Cole quit their jobs after hearing about the impact of rising sea levels on island countries. They were inspired to create “a contemporary and relevant musical statement of a region at the forefront of cultural and environmental challenges,” according to the project’s Facebook page.

The couple traveled for three years, venturing from the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean and meeting and recording various local musicians along the way. The project’s work has won numerous European and American awards.


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