Small Island Big Song is a music, film, live project featuring over a hundred musicians across 16 island nations of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, creating a contemporary and relevant musical statement of a region in the frontline of cultural and environmental challenges.
The album & film were composed, recorded, shot and overdubbed in nature, on the artists' custodial land.
A Taiwan & Australia co-production, and a fair trade music & film release.
New Single out now
"Our ancestors were bridge builders, they found strengths in forming allies in unity. Our generation must keep walking this path to continue the essence of our core values." - Sauljaljui, Paiwan - Taiwan
“We are the proud sailors of the Pacific, seeing the ocean not as a threat, but something we sail and sustains us, but recently this is not the case." - Selina Leem, Marshallese, The Marshall Islands
“If the reef loses its colour, if our island is swallowed up, what will I tell my son?" - Vaiteani & Luc, Tahitian, Tahiti
"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
Behind the scenes by Taiwan Public TV
Small Island Big Song is a multi-platform project uniting the seafaring cultures of the Pacific and Indian Oceans through songs, a contemporary and relevant musical statement from a region at the frontline of the Climate Crisis.
Founded by Taiwanese producer BaoBao Chen and Australian music producer and filmmaker Tim Cole in 2015, the two have been recording and filming with over a hundred musicians in nature across 16 island nations of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The outcomes include an award-winning album, a feature film, outreach programs, and a live concert that has toured around the world across four continents reaching over 170K+ live audiences since the world premiere at SXSW 2018.
Small Island Big Song explores the cultural connections between the descendants of the seafarers of the Pacific and Indian Oceans through the Austronesian migration. Working with artists who have made a choice to maintain the cultural voice of their people, to sing in the language, and to play the instruments of their land. These unique lineages mixed with their diverse contemporary styles - roots-reggae, beats, grunge, RnB, folk & spoken-word, establishing a contemporary musical dialogue between cultures as far afield as Madagascar, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Taiwan, Mauritius, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti and Rapa Nui (Easter Island), creating "One coherent jaw dropping piece" as described by Rob Schwartz - Billboard.
Small Island Big Song was the winner of the 2019 German Record Critics’ Awards for Album of the Year and from the UK, the Songlines Music Awards 2019 for Best Asia/Pacific album and nominees for the US Independent Music Awards 2019 for Best Concept Album and Best Music Website. The album was also chosen by Lauren Laverne as "Album of the week" on BBC Radio 6.
Music critic Tom Orr has noted in the RootsWorld (US) review “….sound like one very big, very happy family doing what they do best while helping get the word out on a most serious issue.”
Physical Album Order
★★★★★ Sydney Morning Herald, AU
★★★★★ Songlines Magazine, UK
Lauren Laverne's Album of the week on BBC Radio 6
Winner - 2019 Songlines Music Award UK - Best Asia/Pacific album
Winner - 2019 The Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics' Awards) - Album of the Year
Nominated - 2019 Independent Music Awards US - Best Concept Album
Nominated - 2019 Independent Music Awards US - Best Website
A Fair Trade Music Release - 50% of net profit goes back to the artists & NGOs. All physical albums come with a 56-page full color booklet, no single use plastic.
Small Island Big Song Concert Tour
Drawing on a roster of respected first nation artists, the concert features musicians performing irresistible oceanic grooves to soulful island ballads engaging audiences from huge festival stages to intimate theatres. Combining music, spoken word and live cinema with AV projections featuring footage collected during a 3-year film trip across 16 countries guided by the artists on their homelands.
2 World Tours in 2018 & 2019
4 Continents - 14 Countries - 23 Cities
170K+ live audiences reached
21 musicians & dancers from 10 island nations toured with us
SXSW - USA, Rudolstadt - Germany, Førde - Norway, EtnoSur - Spain, Legacy Taipei & Taoyuan Fest - Taiwan,
Colours of Ostrava - Czech Rep., MTC Melbourne - Australia, Torba Arts Fest, Vanuatu, World Stage Design & more
We would love to keep you in the loop, lots of the exciting stuff coming up!