This event has been canceled.
Small Island Big Song

Small Island Big Song

April 16, 2022

This event occurred as part of the 21/22 Hop Presents season. This is an archived view.

This event has been canceled.

21/22 Hop Presents

A musical journey across the breadth and into the soul of island nations of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Featuring eight indigenous musicians from across the Pacific and Indian oceans, this multimedia project was founded by Taiwanese producer BaoBao Chen and Australian music producer Tim Cole. The artists all have a common cause: they are on the frontline of the climate crisis. In the voice of their island homes, they perform irresistible oceanic grooves and soulful island ballads sometimes on huge festival stages, others at intimate theaters, against the panoramic views of their homelands. The result is a stunning musical collaboration reuniting the distant yet interconnected musical traditions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The concert combines music, spoken word and AV projections featuring footage collected during a three-year film trip across 16 island nations.

Generously supported by the New England States Touring program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the six New England state arts agencies, the Wetzel Family Fund for the Arts and the Nathan W. Pearson 1932 and Sons Fund. This project is also supported the National Endowment for the Arts.

Photo: J. Ortega

Emlyn (Creole Mauritian - Mauritius)
Musician - lead vocal, ravanne, triangle, kayamb, guitar
Featured on CNN, songwriter, musician and dancer, Emlyn is leading a wave of performers across the Indian Ocean proudly reclaiming their unique rhythms and cultural mix. Written with a reactive pen and sung in Creole, her songs rebelliously express her concerns for her island's environment. A cause she has taken up as co-founder of 'Enn Losean Vivab', a Mauritius-based organisation educating school students about plastic pollution. Emlyn brings the infectious grooves of Sega with its soul from the African slave trade to the stage played on the Ravann, Triangle and Kayamb.
Emily Muli (Tongan - Tonga & New Zealand)
Musician - lead vocal, guitar, sample pad
Emily is a young advocate and musician of the Pacific diaspora, raised in Aotearoa but a proud descendant of the Kingdom of Tonga. In 2017, she travelled with World Vision to visit the Solomon Islands and gather stories about climate change in the Pacific, which led to the establishment of 'Mission To Zero', a movement that empowers young people to address indigenous issues through creative arts and dialogue. While she continues to stand for climate and cultural justice, she actively pursues her original music, fusing elements of contemporary R&B with her Pasifika heritage and a generational legacy of story-telling generating millions of views on Youtube.
Putad (Amis - Taiwan)
Musician - lead vocal, bass, nose flute, jaw harp, bamboo instruments
Powerful, entrancing, unapologetic all words used to describe Putad's engaging stage presence. In the proud spirit of her Indigenous Amis heritage Putad unites ancient vocal traditions with raw energy of grunge, rock and punk as her and her brother Wusang's band Outlet Drift express. Their bold, uplifting and uncompromising shows place their Amis heritage on centre stage at 100db & 100mph as they confront prejudices taking the audience on an unforgettable sonic ride. In the Small Island Big Song ensemble, she brings this energy, her soaring voice, rock bass along with her coastal Amis ancestry and love for the ocean. A regular surfer, Putad's connection to the ocean will be brought onto stage and into the outreach program.
Selina Leem (Marshallese - Marshall Islands & US)
Spoken word & poet 
Selina is among the global faces of climate change, representing her country in the film 'Before the Flood' produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and as the youngest speaker at the COP21 for Paris Agreement, making a passionate plea to global leaders for stronger action on climate change. Selina can push her audience into a place of understanding and care for her homeland, whilst making them look into the future and see the repercussions of current global actions. Her spoken word pieces have been heard across the globe, and will form the narrative of the show, at times delivered by Selina in person.
Vaiteani (Tahitian - Tahiti)
Musicians - lead vocal, ukulele, guitar, percussions
Vaiteani is the lead singer songwriter of the Polynesian group bearing her name, with her partner and gifted multi-Instrumentalist Luc, they perform songs as captivating and beautiful as her homeland Tahiti which inspires them. Vaiteani are one of the most popular acts in Polynesia today, a standing they have been able to use to draw awareness to environmental issues. She sings as a woman of the island for her people and nature, with one foot in the world of contemporary music styles, Soul, Folk and the other, exploring the timeless music traditions of her Polynesian heritage. People get moved by the peculiar tone of her voice while their songs bring us all to some hidden place where we can discover a deeper substance to the subject.
Sammy (Merina - Madagascar)
Musician - vocal, valiha, kabosy, jejy, flutes, maronvany, guitar
Sammy has led an extraordinary life as a Madagascan musician, at a time when most picked up guitars over the traditional Valiha, Sammy followed his passion for Madagascar's musical heritage, by mastering and learning how to make most of Madagascar's instruments. His efforts coming to the notice of the UK's world music scene as his group 'Tarika Sammy', gained international recognition, becoming a regular on major festival stages and being acknowledged as one of the world's best 10 bands, by TIME Magazine. Sammy has been much in demand since, and we are proud to have him at every Small Island Big Song concert.
Richard Mogu (Magi - Papua New Guinea)
Musician: vocal, mambu, bass, guitar, pate, kundu, garamut, percussions
From Amazon Bay on the south coast of Papua New Guinea, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Richard Mogu has been a feature musician in PNG for many years as a solo artist and session musician. Excelling in both traditional and contemporary style. Whilst bass is his feature instrument, he is also adept at mambu (bamboo flutes), garamut drumming, guitars and percussion. He was taught by legendary Sanguma founder Tony Subam. Mogu has also been involved as a producer of other PNG artists.
Tim Cole (Australia)
Music producer, documentary director, front house sound, VJ
Tim is an Australian creative who has been working on cross-cultural arts projects with music at the heart since producing Not Drowning Waving's album and DVD Tabaran in Papua New Guinea. While studying film making at Melbourne University during the day, he produced music at night, which led to a career of equal parts film and music. It was his experience at Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association recording traditional songlines whilst hearing the 5th IPCC report, which led to the founding of Small Island Big Song. Tim holds a BEd. in Media Arts from Melbourne University and A.D. in Music Production from the University of Victoria in Australia and has received a Churchill fellowship and invitation to speak on climate change and the arts at the United Nations, APAP NYC, WOMEX.
BaoBao Chen (Taiwan)
Project producer, manager
Having negotiated, booked, planned and tour-managed several successful international concert tours across Europe, the USA, Asia and Oceania, involving up to 13 artists from 8 countries, whilst releasing a music album, creating an interactive website and bringing a feature film to screen, BaoBao now finds herself as one of Taiwan's most prominent producers of cross-cultural film and music projects. With a BA in Business Management from YuanZe University in Taiwan, BaoBao has realised Small Island Big Song project from the grassroots up, fundraising through crowdfunding, philanthropic bodies and arts grants along with initiating the project's Fair Trade Music structure and recognition of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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